The number of coronavirus infections soared in the past 24 hours, in which Finnish health officials reported 56 new cases, an unusually high number of infections compared to those registered daily since the beginning of July and considerably higher than the cases detected during the last weekend.
Helsinki remains the epicenter and the region hardest hit by the epidemic, but in recent hours several clusters of infections have been found in cities such as Jyväskylä, in central Finland, and Kuhmo, near the Russian border. Hundreds of people have been potentially exposed to the virus in both towns.
So far, the total caseload of infections diagnosed in Finland amounts to 8,142, according to figures from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, in its Finnish acronym). To date, 336 coronavirus related deaths have been recorded. The latest death was reported on Monday 31 August in the hospital catchment area of Helsinki.
The Finnish regions that have registered the most deaths are Helsinki-Uusimaa (276), Kuopio (25), Turku (19) and Oulu (13).
According to THL, currently there are 10 people receiving hospital care in Finland, of which 1 is admitted to an intensive care unit.
400 quarantined in Jyväskylä
Outside the capital region, the situation is complicated in the city of Jyväskylä (central Finland), where health authorities confirmed 19 new cases on Tuesday. Some 400 people have been put under quarantine due to 3 different clusters of the virus with no apparent connection to each other.
Ilkka Käsmä, Jyväskylä's chief of infectious diseases, said "this was a case of bad luck. It is mainly a question of workplace-related infections."
The virus was transmitted by asymptomatic carriers who did not know they were infected and unconsciously passed it on to their co-workers.
The major of the city, Timo Koivisto, noted that few people in Jyväskylä use face masks while traveling on public transportation. He also warned of further restrictions on hobbies and public gatherings if the situation worsens.
In Kuhmo, a small municipality located at the southeastern corner of the Kainuu region, near the Russian border, another infection chain was detected. Apparently, this was caused by a person who had initially tested negative for the Covid-19 disease but was actually positive.
The number of people exposed in Kuhmo is 150-200, according to the vague account made by the authorities.
The chief of infectious diseases in the Kainuu region, Olli-Pekka Koukkari said more 400 people have undergone coronavirus tests, but hundreds are still "queuing to be tested" in the area.