The entrance to the old Herttoniemi Hospital earlier this week (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

THE CITY OF HELSINKI HAS DRAWN UP CONTINGENCY PLANS to convert the former Herttoniemi Hosptial into a backup facility for seriously sick coronavirus patients, with officials saying that the site could be fully operational within a week if necessary. 

The former hospital is currently being used to house elderly people from the Myllypuro Senior Center, which is undergoing renovations. The City of Helsinki has said that these residents will be moved to the Kustaankartano senior center in Oulunkylä if the contingency plans are activated.

Laura Pikkarainen, Director General of Helsinki Hospital, said that the site is the only "meaningful alternative" to a backup hospital, given that it used to be a functioning hospital and that many of the facilities remain in place and in working condition. If needed, the site could house up to 400 seriously ill patients, whilst freeing up hospital beds in other facilities that can be dedicated to rehabilitation and recovery. 

Authorities will be monitoring the situation closely as the COVID-19 crisis develops and will proceed with the plans if rising demand renders such a move necessary. 



Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva