Monday 4/12/21
COVID-19 EPIDEMIC

Finland records new daily coronavirus case record

Prime Minister Sanna Marin cautioned on Friday that the restrictions will likely continue to run after March.
Intensive care unit for coronavirus patients in Helsinki. Photo: @HUS.
Intensive care unit for coronavirus patients in Helsinki. Photo: @HUS/file photo.

Finland recorded a new daily record for coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours, saying it registered 720 new cases, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The country of 5.5 million has recorded over 56,000 cases and 742 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, THL reported.

The new high was reported the day after Prime Minister Sanna Marin's government announced a three-week closure of bars and restaurants from March 8 to 28, although restaurants would be allowed to offer take-away meals.

A cap on public gatherings would also be lowered from at most 10 people to six, while pupils over age 13 would switch to remote learning in most of the country, and their leisure activities would be temporarily suspended.

Marin and other cabinet members said the measures - applicable in large swathes of the country, including the capital region - were necessary due to a rise in cases linked to mutated virus strains that are more transmissible.

So far, a total of 1,232 cases caused by the coronavirus variants have been identified in Finland, THL said.

Restrictions to continue

Marin cautioned on Friday that the restrictions will likely continue to run after March, for instance regarding limited opening hours for restaurants, she told public broadcaster YLE.

The prime minister also did not rule out curfews or other stricter measures to combat the virus, in line with the Emergency Powers Act.

Last week, parliament approved several temporary amendments to the Communicable Diseases Act, for instance allowing local or regional authorities to limit the number of customers in shops, to order the temporary closure of gyms and spas, or reduce the number of passengers on public transport.

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