On Tuesday 5 January, Finland's health authorities reported 11 more deaths associated with the Covid-19 disease. Of them, 9 occurred in the Helsinki region, 1 in the Oulu hospital catchment area and 1 in Tampere.
These fatalities bring the total death toll in Finland to 576 since the pandemic started, according to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Most of the deaths (395) have been recorded in the capital region, the epicenter of the epidemic and the worst hit area.
THL also reported 299 new infections detected in the past 24 hours. So far, the total number of diagnosed cases in the Nordic country amounts to 37,218.
Restriction on gatherings extended
The continuity of the epidemic and the appearance in Finland of cases of the new British and South African variants of the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease led the health authorities of the Helsinki region to extend some restrictions.
According to the Helsinki University Hospital District (HUS), public gatherings of more than 10 people will continue to be banned at least until the end of January.
Other restrictions, affecting for example children's hobbies and activities, will be re-assessed by the Coordination Group at its meeting on 14 January.
The number of people hospitalized due to the Covid-19 disease was 188 on Tuesday. Of them, 25 were admitted to intensive care units.
According to THL's figures, so far 5,445 people have received the vaccine, 2,043 of them in the Helsinki area.
Incidence of new cases
The country's incidence of new cases remained stable on Tuesday. According to THL, at the time of writing this article it was 61.6 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks for the whole country.
However, the situation varies depending on the region.
In the Helsinki-Uusimaa area, the most populated part of the country, the incidence for the preceding 14 days was 110.7 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The incidence of new cases in Southwest Finland (Turku and surroundings) was 105.9 per 100,000.
In the Lapland hospital district, the incidence slightly increased to 23 cases per 100,000 residents.
Currently, the lowest incidence in Finland is in the South Ostrobothnia hospital district, whose main city is Seinäjoki, where 6.8 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been diagnosed in the past 2-week period.