The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Finland despite tightening restrictions, flight cancellations and traffic light models that have left the country almost disconnected from the world. Currently, Finland only allows unrestricted border traffic with a dozen of countries.
Still, over the weekend, the country registered 102 new coronavirus infections and 1 death in the Greater Helsinki region.
To date, Finland has recorded 8,327 infections and 336 deaths associated with the Covid-19 disease, according to the latest figures published by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
There are also 16 people receiving hospital treatment and 1 admitted to intensive care.
Hundreds of students exposed
With the restart of the academic year, several hundred people have been exposed to coronavirus at student parties and several Covid-19 infections have occurred at these events in different parts of Finland, THL said in a press release.
"Those exposed to the coronavirus are placed in quarantine as a precaution," THL says.
"Event organisers should be critical in advance about organising large events. If events are organised, it is necessary to take care of safety intervals and good hygiene", says Taneli Puumalainen, Chief Physician at the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
On Thursday last week, Helsinki health officials reported that around 300 students of medicine from the University of Helsinki have been exposed to the disease during a traditional initiation event.
The next week (Friday) the University of Tampere revealed that more than 70 people had been exposed to coronavirus and at least 7 people reported mild Covid-19 symptoms following an unofficial student event. The mass exposure also affected students' families.
Work and family gatherings
According to the Ministry, mass exposures have also taken place in larger family gatherings, public events and recreational activities. Most of the exposures are related to leisure time, but some people have been also exposed to the coronavirus in workplaces.
"Various celebrations may lead to the spread of the disease. Even if you have only mild symptoms, you should not take part in events or move around in public places", says Puumalainen.
Those who have symptoms that indicate coronavirus must contact the health care services to get tested and assess the need for treatment.