THE FINNISH INSTITUTE for Health and Welfare (THL) has revealed that a total of 863 new coronavirus cases were reported in Finland on Sunday.
The increase in laboratory-confirmed infections is the highest of its kind to date, but it is partly explained by the fact that it includes infections also from the six-day period between 8 and 13 March, Mika Salminen, the director of health security at THL, told YLE.
“There’s a technical issue here: one laboratory had for a few days not reported numbers for the latter parts of the week, and they came in with the other numbers,” he said.
The increase is nevertheless alarming, he emphasised.
The Finnish public broadcasting company wrote that the laboratory is responsible for reporting infections from large inland areas of Finland. The epidemiological situation, however, remains difficult especially in southern parts of the country.
“Especially in Southern Finland, the numbers are rising and it’s impossible to point to any kind of immediate decline at least for this monitoring period. There’s reason to be worried that the situation could even worsen,” stated Salminen.
He estimated that the government will have to weigh up the need for additional counter-measures unless adults begin to reduce social contact with others. The vast majority of new infections, he highlighted, are traced back to social situations, such as an individual meeting their friends or spending time in a public place.
“It’s understandable that people don’t consider their circle of friends as a risk. All it takes, however, is one asymptomatic but contagious person, and they aren’t too uncommon among young people, before you suddenly have lots of infections. And if it takes time to detect [the infections], the chain of infection may become long.”
Salminen underlined that the public should exercise restraint for the next few months so that the vaccine coverage, as well as temperatures, can reach a level that assuages the situation.
“This is difficult for everyone, but we’re pretty close to a better situation. It’d be great if we got through the last few kilometres and over the finish line.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT