Wednesday 1/20/21

17 cases of new coronavirus variant diagnosed in Finland

All new cases have been detected in the Helsinki and Kouvola regions.
A coronavirus testing laboratory. Photo: HUS.
A coronavirus testing laboratory. Photo: HUS.

Finnish health authorities have so far diagnosed 17 infections with the new coronavirus variant in Finland.

The first three cases of the new strains - initially detected in Great Britain and South Africa - were reported by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on 28 December. Since that day, 14 other infections have been diagnosed, all related to trips made between 7 and 20 December to the United Kingdom and other places abroad, which THL does not specify in its statement.

According to the health agency, 5 of the infections have been diagnosed in relatives of patients who have been in quarantine. All new cases have been reported in the regions of Uusimaa (Helsinki and its surroundings) and Kymenlaakso (the Kouvola area).

Norway, Sweden and Denmark have also reported cases of the new coronavirus mutations in recent days.

Spreading faster

According to health experts, the new mutated coronavirus can infect and spread faster. However, there is no evidence that it causes a more serious or deadly disease.

The Pfizer/Biontech coronavirus vaccine that authorities are currently administering in Finland is also estimated to protect against the disease caused by the modified virus strain.

THL recommends to all those who arrived from the UK or South Africa since 7 December to request a coronavirus test, even if they are asymptomatic or have already been tested.

Finland decided on December 31 to extend until January 11 the suspension of passenger air traffic from Great Britain.