The number of new Covid-19 cases reported in Finland decreased for the first time since the rise reported in mid-February. However, government warns that new infections are "still reported in large numbers" in several regions like Helsinki-Uusimaa and southwestern Finland.
"Inpatients in specialised healthcare have placed an increasing burden on healthcare services, and the need for intensive care has grown considerably," the Ministry or Social Affairs and Health says.
According to the government's latest monitoring report on the coronavirus epidemic, between 15 and 21 March about 4,650 new Covid-19 cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of about 275 cases from the previous week. The incidence of new cases was 84 per 100,000 inhabitants. This means that the incidence of new cases has decreased slightly from the previous week when the figure was 89.
However, the total number of new cases in the last two-week period was nearly 9,600, while in the preceding two-week period it was over 8,400. The incidence of new cases was 173 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the preceding two-week period it was 152.
The need for intensive care has "clearly increased" within the past month and particularly within the past few days. The number of patients in intensive care is the highest in hospitals within the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.
Some intensive care patients have been transferred from hospitals within the catchment area for highly specialised medical care of the Helsinki University Central Hospital to other hospitals where the burden on intensive care units is not as high.
"The need for hospital care is forecast to remain high in the coming weeks," says the weekly report.
On Thursday 25 March, a total of 287 patients were receiving hospital care due to the Covid-19 disease. Of them, 59 were inpatients in intensive care. The total number of deaths related to the disease was 815.
The majority of all new cases were reported among working-age adults and young adults. Four out of five cases were reported among people under 50 years of age and more than half of the cases among people aged 20–50.
Finnish health authorities have reported 74,242 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began.