Sunday 3/7/21
EPIDEMIC

New Covid-19 cases reported in large numbers across Finland

So far, 211 infections caused by the recently described coronavirus variants have been identified in the country

A healthcare worker gets vaccinated in Helsinki. Photo: @HUS/file photo.
A healthcare worker gets vaccinated in Helsinki. Photo: @HUS/file photo.

The number of new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and the incidence of new cases continued to grow in the past two weeks, according the latest assessment of the epidemic situation published by the Finnish health authorities.

Between 25 and 31 January, a total of 2,592 new cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, representing an increase of 258 from the previous week.

In the last two-week period (18–31 January) the total number of new infections was 4,926, which was 1,353 cases more than in the preceding two-week period. The incidence of new cases was 89 per 100,000 inhabitants for the whole country, while in the preceding two-week period it was 65.

The source of infection was traced in 63% of all new cases of domestic origin. About one fourth of new cases were reported among people already in quarantine. The number of mass exposures is high, and transmission chains originating from gatherings of young adults have attracted particular attention. Between 25 and 31 January, a total of 13,650 were quarantined.

3 more deaths

On Thursday 4 February, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported 444 new infections and 3 more deaths, bringing the total death toll to 688 since the pandemic started.

So far, 211 cases caused by the recently described coronavirus variants have been identified in Finland. Of these, 194 are variants first detected in the United Kingdom and 17 are variants first detected in South Africa..

According to government information, the need for hospital care has remained relatively stable since the beginning of this year. On Thursday there were 128 hospitalized patients across the country, of which 23 were admitted to intensive care units. The number of patients in intensive care is the highest in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.

Vaccinations

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, "Covid-19 vaccinations are underway across the country, and the municipalities are well prepared for vaccinations." However, how fast different population groups can be vaccinated depends on the volume of vaccine doses Finland receives and how quickly they are received in this global pandemic, the authorities say.

THL is examining the presence of coronavirus in waste water at 28 waste water treatment plants. This study shows that the virus is still present throughout the country. During the latest broad-scale monitoring period between 24 and 25 January 2021, SARS-CoV-2 genomes were detected in samples collected from 26 waste water treatment plants.

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