The number of coronavirus infections in Finland is increasing again after several weeks of decline, Finnish health authorities say.
According to the latest monitoring report on the epidemic published by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, a total of 947 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the Nordic country between 21 and 27 June, which is "much more than in the preceding weeks."
In fact, this is over 400 cases more than the week before.
"The recent spike in Covid-19 cases is largely due to football fans returning from Russia after attending UEFA European Championship matches," the Ministry said in a statement.
According to Government information, at least 4,500 Finnish fans traveled to St Petersburg (Russia) to watch Euro 2020 matches. By 30 June, 386 football fans returning from Russia had tested positive for Covid-19, causing 50 further infections.
Most of the cases were reported in the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa (a total of 264 cases and 17 further infections) and in the Hospital Districts of Pirkanmaa (38 cases and 8 further infections) and Southwest Finland (31 cases and 5 further infections).
More infections from abroad
The percentage of cases where the virus was contracted abroad has therefore grown, the government emphasizes.
Between 21 and 27 June, half (50%) of all new cases were of foreign origin, while in the previous week the cases of foreign origin accounted for 33% of all cases.
"Over 40% of the cases recorded between 21 and 27 June are directly linked to the Euro 2020 matches in Russia," insists the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The incidence of new cases over the last two weeks (14–27 June) was 27 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 23 in the preceding two-week period (31 May–13 June).
The incidence of cases has increased particularly among people aged 20–29. Over one third (35%) of the cases reported between 21 and 27 June were detected in this age group.
Local clusters of infection
In general, the epidemic situation remains stable. Some areas have, however, reported local clusters of infection, particularly the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, where the number of cases has grown considerably.
The government insists that this increase is "a result of infections detected among Euro 2020 football fans."
Despite this circumstantial increase, there is no additional pressure on the healthcare system. On Wednesday 30 June just 38 people were receiving hospital care, 7 of them in intensive care. So far, the need for hospital care has not changed essentially.
So far, Finland has reported 973 Covid-19-related deaths since the beginning of the global pandemic.
About 58% of the Finnish population have received at least their first vaccine dose and 18% their second dose.
Approximately 72% of people over 18 years of age have received at least one shot.