Friday 10.07.2020

Government: people over 70 obliged to refrain from contact with others

The Ministry of Health recommends to avoid non-essential visits to older people: "They can be contacted by phone or Skype, for example."
Government: people over 70 obliged to refrain from contact with others

The Finnish Government has issued a list of requirements for people over 70 years of age. According to a statement by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, during this coronavirus crisis (koronavirus, in Finnish) the elderly are considered to be "clearly at a higher risk than young people of getting serious symptoms requiring hospital care." 

Authorities said its objective now is to protect the older people from risk of contracting Covid-19. And for that purpose, as a general guideline, "persons over 70 years of age are obliged to refrain from contact with other persons to the extent possible, for example in quarantine-like conditions," the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said.

The Government also requests people over 70 to avoid close contact and movement outside their homes because it would increase the risk of infection.

If it is essential to go in person to a shop, pharmacy or health station or to do other business, the advice is to do this at times when there are few other customers around. "Please keep 1-meter distance from other people," the Ministry of Health stresses.

According to the Government, everyone is asked to think about the risk of infection and to avoid doing things that might spread the coronavirus. In particular, people should consider the position of older people and those who are vulnerable. "A person’s resistance to the disease may be impaired due to, for example, underlying diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases."

Avoid non-essential visits

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health says during these days "Non-essential visits to anyone over 70 and in other risk groups should be avoided. They can be contacted by phone or Skype, for example."

If a visit is essential, handshakes, hugging and other close contact should be avoided unless essential for care or treatment reasons, in the case of staff, for instance. It is important that all visitors use a scarf or other protection for their nose and mouth.

People close to those over 70 and in risk groups are urged to consider the potential risk of infection via their other contacts.

The government's instructions on how to deal with the elderly end with a call for solidarity: "Neighbours, family and friends are important supporters of everyday life in emergency conditions."

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