The number of new COVID-19 cases has remained at the same level as the week before. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish authorities have succeeded in curbing the epidemic in many regions. Despite this, the virus has spread throughout the country, and new cases have been reported in large numbers in many hospital districts.
"So far there is no clear evidence that the virus variants would have started to spread through the population in Finland, but the risk of them spreading is considerable," the Ministry says in its latest monitoring report on the epidemic published Thursday.
The need for hospital care has, however, been decreasing for several weeks now.
Between 1 and 7 February, over 2,500 new cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of nearly 200 from the previous week. The incidence of new cases was 45 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the previous week it was 49 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The total number of new cases in the last two-week period (25 January–7 February) was slightly more than 5,200, which was over 1,100 cases more than in the preceding two-week period. The incidence of new cases was 94 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the preceding two-week period it was 74 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Currently, the estimated basic reproduction number is 0.95–1.1, with a 90% probability.
The incidence and number of COVID-19 cases are still very high in many European countries and Finland’s neighbouring areas.
A number of different virus variants or virus strains have been detected around the world. Finland is trying to stop the spread of these variants to the country by intensifying preventive measures at the borders and introducing restrictions and recommendations. Authorities are also closely monitoring the impact of the new virus variants on the development of the epidemic. So far, a total of 232 cases of the new variants have been confirmed in the country.
Currently, most of the new cases are reported among working-age adults, and more specifically, among young adults. Nearly one fourth of all new cases were reported among people aged 20–29.
The percentage of people over 60 years of age of those infected has decreased slightly.
Cases contracted abroad
Slightly over 11,000 people were quarantined between 1 and 7 February, which is about 2,500 people less than in the previous week. Over one fourth of all new cases were reported among people already in quarantine.
During the period of 1–7 February, the majority of the new cases were of domestic origin. Cases where the virus was contracted abroad accounted for 4% of all new cases, and the further infections resulting from them accounted for less than one 1% of all cases.
According to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), on 11 February, a total of 112 patients were receiving hospital care due to the Covid-19 disease. Of them, 16 were inpatients in intensive care.
Finland has recorded 49,165 infections and 708 deaths since the pandemic started.