"The epidemic is calming down in Finland," say the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare in their weekly monitoring report on the coronavirus situation.
According to the latest official assessment, the number of new Covid-19 cases "has clearly declined" over the past five weeks.
Health authorities say this is due to the current restrictions like the closure of bars and restaurants, which "have clearly been effective and prevented infections."
However, the number of new cases remains high, which means that the situation may deteriorate rapidly again if contacts between people increase significantly in the next few weeks, allowing the virus to spread more freely in the population.
According to THL, on Thursday 280 new cases and 3 more deaths caused by or linked to the Covid-19 were reported by the hospital districts.
Currently, the number of new cases is at the same level as in October–November 2020. However, cases of more transmissible virus variants have been reported nationwide.
There are major regional differences in the development of the epidemic.
Situation improved in Helsinki
Southern Finland is still the worst affected area, but the number of cases has clearly declined in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).
During the week 12-18 April, over 1,900 new cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of about 600 cases from the previous week.
The incidence of new cases was 35 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the previous week it was 46.
The total number of new cases reported in the last two-week period was almost 4,500, which is about 3,000 cases fewer than in the preceding two-week period. The incidence of new cases was 80 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two-week period, while in the preceding two-week period it was 134.
Between 12 and 18 April, cases where the virus was contracted abroad accounted for 5.5 % of all new cases.
More than 85% of people aged 70 years or older have already received their first vaccine dose. The medical risk groups are expected to have mainly received their first dose by mid-May.
The number of patients in hospital care was highest at the end of March before Easter (between 22 March and 4 April). Compared to this, the total number of patients in hospital care has reduced by half.
The number of patients requiring intensive care has remained relatively stable over the past week.
On Thursday 22 April, there were 129 patients in hospitals. Of them, 37 were in intensive care wards.
So far, Finland has reported 85,077 coronavirus infections and 902 deaths.