Friday 9/17/21

Nearly 10,000 Finns quarantined as Covid infections continue to rise

Finland has only fully vaccinated 39% of the population, one of the lowest rates in Europe
09 August 2021, Australia, Melbourne: A health worker inoculates a diver with a jab of coronavirus vaccine at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccine hub. Victoria has entered a seven-day lockdown to contain a growing outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the Australian state. Photo: Luis Ascui/AAP/dpa
A health worker inoculates a diver with a jab of coronavirus vaccine at a drive-through Covid-19 vaccine hub in Melbourne. Photo: Luis Ascui/dpa.

The number of new Covid-19 cases continues to increase in Finland from week to week. The total number of new cases reported between 2 and 8 August was 5,017, whereas a week before the number of new cases was 4,618.

On Thursday, 1,024 new infections were reported by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Meanwhile, Finland continues to lag behind the European Union average in vaccinations.

"Currently, the Covid-19 epidemic is spreading especially among unvaccinated young adults," says the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release.

According to the latest official monitoring report on the epidemic, between 2 and 8 August a record number of 9,880 people were quarantined, which is over 1,500 people more than in the preceding week. A total of 23% of the new cases were reported among people already in quarantine.

"It is possible that the high number of people placed in quarantine will be reflected as an increase in the number of new cases next week," Finnish health authority say.

The burden on primary healthcare remains high. Some regions have reported backlogs in contact tracing and delays in placing people in isolation and quarantine. There is also a lot of regional variation in how well contacts are traced. The source of infection was traced successfully in 54% of all new cases in Finland. The backlogs reflect the increase in the number of infections and a shortage of personnel available for tracing.

"It is not always possible to receive all necessary information from infected and exposed persons about other potentially exposed persons," says the report.

Only 39% fully vaccinated

According to health authorities, in Finland around 68% of the population have received their first vaccine dose and only 39% are fully vaccinated. This is one of the lowest total vaccination rates in Europe.

Among those in need of hospital care in Finland, the number of young adults and not vaccinated patients is "currently notable." The overall burden on specialised healthcare has reduced slightly, but the need for intensive care has increased compared to the situation a week before.

Based on the information provided by the hospital districts, a total of 83 people were receiving hospital care due to the Covid-19 disease on 11 August 2021. Of them, 14 were inpatients in primary healthcare, 50 inpatients in specialised healthcare and 19 inpatients in intensive care.

"The nature of the epidemic has changed. The disease is currently spreading especially among unvaccinated young people and young adults," Finnish authorities say.

Finnish health authorities insist that the best way to help stop the epidemic now is to get vaccinated.

On 11 August, the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in Finland since the start of the epidemic was 995.