Covid-19 confirmed cases in Finland and other countries

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Source: Our world in data

Around 20 pupils and handful of staff members at Mattlidens Skola in Espoo were ordered into quarantine on Wednesday for coming into contact with a person infected with the new coronavirus. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE RISK of the new coronavirus spreading widely in schools is low, reminds the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

THL on Wednesday issues a press release in response to recent reports about new infections and quarantine orders issued to pupils and staff members at schools in Espoo, Helsinki, Mäntsälä, Porvoo, Sipoo and Vantaa.

Spread of coronavirus continues to slow down in Finland

  • The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) says the number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 44 to 6,443 between Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • The new coronavirus thereby has an incidence of 116 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Finland.
  • A total of 385 new infections were reported during the most recent, sliding seven-day period between 11 and 17 May, signalling a drop of over 200 from the period between 4 and 10 May.
  • The death toll from the virus rose by three to 304 between Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • A total of 118 people are currently in hospital care, including 20 in critical care, with symptoms caused by the virus.
  • Laboratories in Finland tested 3,900 samples for the virus between Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing the total to 156,200.
  • The country has a capacity to test up to 9,600 samples a day.

The most recent case was reported yesterday in Espoo: Around 20 pupils and a handful of staff members were ordered into quarantine after becoming exposed to the virus at Mattlidens Skola, a Swedish-language primary school in Matinkylä, Espoo.

Pihla Keto-Huovinen (NCP) is one of several legislators who have expressed their concern about the decision to re-open school, warning that the government’s “two-week gamble” with schools could backfire.

Schools in Finland resumed in-person teaching after an almost two-month break on 14 May 2020. The school year will end on 30 May.

THL on Wednesday made the same argument for resuming in-person instruction as it did in late April. Children, it highlighted, rarely develop more than minor symptoms from the new coronavirus and have had a relatively small role in the spread of the virus thus far, with studies showing that children catch the virus less often than adults and are rarely the first link in a chain of infection.

“In light of these details, the risk of the coronavirus spreading widely due to in-person teaching is small. It is nevertheless likely that some coronavirus infections will be detected in in-person teaching,” said Otto Helve, a paediatrician specialising in infectious diseases at THL.

THL reminded that in the event of coronavirus infections at schools, local authorities seek to prevent further infections by placing the exposed pupils and teachers into quarantine and testing all of them for the virus if they develop symptoms.

It also urged both pupils and staff members at schools to follow the instructions on hand hygiene and social distancing, not come to school with any flu-like symptoms, and not hesitate to request a coronavirus test if they develop any symptoms.

Read also: Sending Finnish children back to school for two weeks is irresponsible, useless and wrongly motivated

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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