Saturday 8/15/20
GOVERNMENT ASSESSMENT

Covid-19 reproduction on the rise

The number of new cases per infected patient is increasing and the disease has put people into intensive care units, which a week ago were empty.

File photo of the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino Kaisa Pekonen (R). Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/Vnk.
File photo of the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino Kaisa Pekonen (R). Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/Vnk.

Finland's basic reproduction number of Covid-19 increased for the second consecutive week.

The latest assessment of the epidemic published by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health describes a country where the situation regarding the epidemic is calm and the number of infections and deaths remains low. However, the estimated number of reproduction of the disease has risen again. And it's already two weeks in a row.

At the same time, the coronavirus has put some people into intensive care units, which were empty a week ago.

According to the government's evaluation published 9 July, now the estimated reproduction number is 0,80-1.25.

This value indicates how much the virus is spreading, a reproduction rate higher than 1 means that each person with the disease infects an average of more than one person.

In the past two weeks, Finland still showed Covid-19 reproduction values ​​of less than 1. But not anymore.

In the previous assessment published 2 July, the estimated basic reproduction number was 0.65-0.90.

And one week earlier the number of new infections for each case was even lower, between 0.40–0.75.

Those low reproduction numbers led the government then to emphasize that any value lower than 1 "means that the epidemic is shrinking."

Now, the value is likely to be over 1, and that would suggest that the virus may be expanding again.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health admitted in the assessment that the reproduction number "has increased slightly compared to previous weeks." Still, the department headed by Aino-Kaisa Pekonen also stressed that the "the coronavirus situation has remained stable in all hospital districts throughout the country."

Controlled epidemic

Despite the increase in the reproduction of the disease, which may be linked to the relaxation of control measures and the reopening of the country for the summer time, the epidemic in Finland seems to be under control.

The government assessment says that during the last monitored period (26 June to 5 July) only 39 new infections were reported to the communicable diseases register. No new cases were reported in 16 hospital districts.

According to the figures disclosed by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), there has been only 1 death associated with the disease in this period.

Currently, 19 patients are receiving hospital care and 2 of them are in intensive care. No fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours and so far the disease claimed 329 lives in the country.

Hospital periods to increase

Government highlighted that the number of patients in hospital care has "declined clearly since April and May but it has levelled off during the past few weeks."

According to the official forecast, "the number of new periods in hospital and intensive care over the next week will be slightly higher than what was predicted based on the declining trend during last week."

It is estimated that in Finland around 6,800 people (90% of all confirmed cases), have recovered from the disease.

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