New cases of coronavirus and the need for hospital care for Covid-19 patients are on the rise, according to the latest monitoring report released by the Government of Finland.
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, more than 3,400 new infections were reported between 15 and 21 February 2021. This is "clearly more than in the previous week," the government stresses.
The incidence of new cases was 62 per 100,000 inhabitants in the whole of Finland, while in the preceding week, it was 46 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Most of the new cases were reported among working-age adults, particularly among young adults. People under 50 years of age accounted for around 80% of all cases and people under 30 years of age for around 45% of the cases. People aged over 60 accounted for about 9% of all confirmed cases, and people aged over 70 accounted for about 3%.
So far, a total of 690 cases of the new virus variants have been confirmed in Finland. Of them, 660 are cases of the UK variant.
A total of over 11,000 people were quarantined between 15 and 21 February, which is over 2,700 people more than in the previous week.
Worst situation in Helsinki-Uusimaa
In recent weeks, the COVID-19 situation has worsened particularly in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, which is the capital region. The incidence of new cases has also risen in nine other areas over the past two weeks. However, the incidence of new cases fell or remained the same in 11 hospital districts.
Some of the new cases originated from known chains of transmission whereas others originated from outside these chains.
A number of hospital districts reported mass exposures that have resulted in chains of transmission. For example, in the Hospital Districts of Satakunta, South Savo and North Karelia and the Åland Islands, the incidence of cases increased many times over between 15 and 21 February when compared to the previous week.
"The fact that people have waited too long to get themselves tested have, in some cases, resulted in large-scale transmission chains," the government says.
Winter holiday period
During the winter holiday period, tourism may increase the likelihood of the disease spreading also in areas where the Covid-19 situation is more stable.
In the whole of Finland, the number of people requiring hospital care -including intensive care- has also increased during the past week. However, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health says that intensive care capacity has not been threatened on a national scale.
According to the information available on 25 February, 194 people are receiving hospital care due to Covid-19 in Finland. Of them, 36 are patients in intensive care wards. A week before, 132 people were receiving hospital care due to the disease.
The number of deaths related to the disease is slowly decreasing. Between 15 and 21 February, the number of deaths was 14.
According to the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), 55,687 people have contracted the virus and 740 have died since the pandemic began.