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Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) spoke to reporters outside the House of the Estates in Helsinki on Tuesday, 9 June 2020. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has floated the possibility of lifting the state of emergency declared over the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.

The government convened yesterday to preliminary discuss whether upholding the state of emergency remains justified and how the normal legislation should be developed to make it possible to introduce measures necessitated by the epidemic.

It will re-convene to discuss the matter on Monday, 15 June.

Fewer than 30 in hospital care with coronavirus

  • The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) says the number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 24 to 7,025 between Monday and Tuesday.
  • The death toll from the new coronavirus rose by one to 324.
  • The number of people in hospital care with symptoms caused by the virus fell by 10 to 28 between Monday and Tuesday. Only four of the patients are in critical care, representing a drop of two from Monday.

Marin on Tuesday stated that the government is ready to lift the state of emergency as soon as the condition of necessity is no longer met.

“This is an examination that’ll be conducted during the course of June. My guess is that we can conduct the examination in mid-June, when we see how the lifting of the most recent restrictions has affected the epidemic situation,” she was quoted as saying by Helsingin Sanomat.

“It’s perfectly clear that we intend to to put an end to the use of the emergency powers act and the state of emergency.”

Her sentiment was echoed by Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP).

“The discussion that we’re having today is definitely much-needed. I’m eager to listen to what our health care officials have to say. Statistics show that we have fewer and fewer patients in critical care units,” she commented to the newspaper ahead of the meeting outside the House of the Estates in Helsinki.

The Finnish government acknowledged in a press release yesterday that the epidemic situation has changed considerably since the state of emergency was declared on 16 March. The emergency powers act was invoked based on the assessment that greater powers were necessary to protect the public from the infectious disease and safeguard basic and human rights during the emergency.

The objective was specifically to ensure the sufficiency of the social and health care – and especially critical care – capacity in Finland.

“Although the threat of the coronavirus spreading and the epidemic acceleration is still present, the epidemiological picture suggests that measures taken with authorities granted in the emergency powers act may not be necessary for the epidemic situation and, especially, social and health care capacity after 30 June,” reads a press release from the government.

“Before making a decision about this, it is necessary to monitor the effects of the easing of measures and ensure the decision is justified.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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