Thursday. 09.04.2020
El tiempo

Finland reports 105 new coronavirus cases, 20% more in 24 hours

Bars, stores and shopping malls remain open as the number of infected people rises.

Citizens waiting for a pharmacy to open on Sunday morning. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Citizens waiting for a pharmacy to open on Sunday morning. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Finland reports 105 new coronavirus cases, 20% more in 24 hours

The situation is getting worse in Finland too. Finnish health authorities reported on Sunday a total of 105 new laboratory-diagnosed cases of coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish). So far, Finland has recorded 626 cases of Covid-19.

There are 43 patients hospitalized. Of them, 12 are in intensive care units.

So far, one death caused by coronavirus was admitted last Saturday, but authorities refused to disclose the gender and the age of the victim. The only information known is that it was an "elderly" person from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Hospital District. Local press has responded with harsh criticism to this lack of transparency in these exceptional moments.

In fact, this patient died last Friday, but authorities took one day to report it.

According to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, in its Finnish acronym), the above figures are based on laboratory-verified numbers collected manually directly from the hospital districts.

The Register of Communicable Diseases has been notified, to date, a total of 418 cases, this is 208 less than those reported by hospitals. THL admitted that the new system may cause "delays and regional variations." Of the reported cases, 61% are men and 39% are women.

The President of THL admitted recently that the actual number of infections may be 20 or 30 times higher.  The reason for this gap is that in Finland only people with severe respiratory symptoms are tested. Those with mild symptoms are simply requested to stay at their homes.

Pubs and shopping malls open

And as the cases of people affected by the Covid-19 increase across the country, many inhabitants are stunned at the lack of action by the coalition government led by the Social Democrat Sanna Marin. Amid the state of emergency, authorities continue to allow bars, restaurants, shops, and shopping malls to remain open.

Iltalehti newspaper, the most widely read by Finns on the Internet, reported on Sunday that the previous night in Helsinki pubs and bars were open and with clients. According to the report, they attended a karaoke session in a well-known pub in the capital, where customers passed the microphone to each other, without proper disinfection.

Helsingin Sanomat, the main daily newspaper in Helsinki, drew attention to the fact that, while the Government asks citizens to remain at home, the main shopping malls in and around the Helsinki area remain open and even launching sales campaigns.

Koti-Pizza-restaurant-by-Foreigner.fiThe Government has not yet ordered restaurants and pubs to close. Photo: Foreigner.fi

Restaurants and schools

The same is happening with restaurants and food outlets.

Foreigner.fi has verified that they continue to receive customers and sell food, despite the country being in a state of emergency. 

Rosso-restaurant-by-Foreigner.fiAnother restaurant open in a shopping center on Sunday in Helsinki Area. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

People's outings have also not been limited, and on Sunday people were walking and doing sports outside, oblivious to the catastrophe that is happening around the world. Only public gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned.

Another decision that has sparked controversy is the government's change of mind regarding schools.

Starting this Monday, children in grades 1-3 can return to school if their parents consider it appropriate.

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