Thursday, February 25, 2021

Finland STM & TFL Statement: COVID Infections/Hospitalizations Rising Significantly

 Finland - WHO Dashboard


After peaking in early-to-mid December, COVID cases in Finland dropped nearly 50% in early January, only to begin a steady rise over the past 6 weeks. 

In the week ending February 15th, Finland reported its largest weekly (n=3278) case total since the pandemic began. A jump of nearly 20% over the previous week. 

Finland remains one of the least affected European nations, but the recent trends are concerning, and today the Prime Minister Sanna Marin held a press conference announcing a 3-week lockdown - starting March 8th - that would close restaurants and require older students to return to remote learning. 

Although the Finnish government websites have not updated their information, details are available in this Reuters report: Finland to tighten COVID-19 restrictions from March 8The Prime Minister also indicated she is prepared to declare a state of emergency if necessary. 

While many countries are looking at their falling COVID numbers and are exploring ways to reduce COVID restrictions in the weeks and months ahead, the spread of a more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant - which is also linked to increased severity - may derail those plans. 

Today the TFL (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) and Finland's STM (Social and Health Ministry) released the following joint statement on the recent rise in cases. 

STM and THL inform
The number of coronavirus infections has risen significantly, with the need for hospitalization increasing

Social and health Ministry
2/25/2021 9.47 RELEASE

A total of more than 3,400 new coronavirus infections were detected in week 7, ie between 15 and 21 February 2021, which is clearly more than in the previous week. The incidence of cases across the country was 62 infections per 100,000 population, compared to 46 infections per 100,000 population in the previous week.

Working-age infections are most prevalent, especially among young adults. Of all cases, about 80 percent were found in those under 50 years of age and about 45 percent in those under 30 years of age. Those over 60 years of age accounted for about 9 percent of the cases diagnosed, and those over 70 years of age accounted for about 3 percent.

More than 11,000 people were quarantined in week 7. This is 2,700 more people than the previous week.

This information is reflected in the weekly monitoring report of the Department of Health and Welfare. Coronavirus monitoring (THL)

The situation remains the worst in the HUS area - extensive clusters of infection in many areas

The coronavirus epidemic situation has deteriorated in recent weeks, especially in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital districts. The incidence of the disease has also increased in nine other areas in the last two weeks. Incidence, on the other hand, decreased or remained the same in 11 hospital districts.

New cases have been reported both inside and outside known infection chains.

Mass exposures have been reported in several hospital districts, triggering chains of infection. The incidence of coronavirus cases has increased, for example, in Satakunta's South Savo and South Karelia hospital districts and in Åland in week 7 compared to the previous week.

Some of the new chains of infection could possibly have been prevented by careful adherence to the recommendations and restrictions. Late application for the test has in some cases led to the emergence of extensive chains of infection.

During ski holidays, tourism can increase the likelihood of the disease spreading to areas where the disease situation is calmer.

Nationwide, the workload of hospital care has been increasing over the past week. The need for intensive care has also increased over the last couple of weeks, but the capacity of intensive care nationwide has not been threatened.

According to the data of 24 February 2021, there are 193 people in hospital nationwide. Of the patients, 86 are in specialist nursing wards, 72 in primary care wards and 35 in intensive care units. A week ago, there were a total of 132 coronary patients in hospital.

The number of deaths related to the coronavirus is slowly declining. At week 7, 14 were reported, and at weeks 5-6, 21 and 17, respectively.

Transformation viruses require effective control measures

To date, 690 cases of modified coronavirus have been reported in Finland. Of these, 660 are British virus variants.

The epidemic situation calls for very effective control of the spread of the virus in the coming weeks and months. Rapid and wide-ranging containment measures are also effective against the transformation virus.

Corona epidemic: regional situation, recommendations and constraints (THL)

The coronavirus is effectively transmitted, especially in prolonged close contact. Everyone can slow down the spread of the coronavirus by their own actions. It is also important to reduce close contacts in good health, and even in the case of mild symptoms suitable for coronavirus disease, a test should be applied immediately.

Coronavirus - Infection and Protection (THL)
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