THL's estimate of possible coronavirus damage worsens dramatically
The health authority did not take into account before that 200,000 Finns are returning from abroad and they may be spreading the disease at home. THL and the airport operator now blame each other.
Experts from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) held a review about effects of coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) on Tuesday to the leadership of the parliamentary parties.
According to the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Mika Salminen, Director of Health Safety at THL, and Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Director of Strategy at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) were present.
Five people from the meeting said that the analysis of the authorities had changed completely from a similar meeting last week.
THL's calculations were clouded by an estimate that about 200,000 Finns in risk areas will arrive in Finland. THL could not take this into account in its earlier calculations, when preparing for the introduction of the Emergency Law.
Another person at the meeting said, "Realizing that a couple of hundred thousand Finns are coming here and potentially having a lot of people infected has apparently been crucial to THL's scenarios."
Finnish media also wonder how the newcomers have not been previously taken into account by authorities.
Travelers not strictly quarantined
People in the meeting were also amazed when they knew that those who have already arrived in Finland have not been strictly guided to their home quarantine.
“It is shocking that quarantine from overseas was skipped, even though the problem should have been understood a week ago,” said another source.
Although there has been some guidance on how to proceed, there has been little guidance and quarantine may have been leaked.
In practice, many newcomers have only walked from the ground to the ground, without adequate guidance or even the requirement of quarantine. They have traveled normally in full buses and trains with others and continued their daily lives.
Foreigner.fi has known, for example, about the case of a Finnish family just returned from Spain who is staying at home but who invites their children's friends to play in their yard.
"No sufficiently taken into account"
“The health authorities who attended the meeting admitted that it had a major impact on the fact that people from abroad were not sufficiently taken into account.”
Meanwhile, the various authorities blame each other.
According to a source, health authorities at the meeting shifted responsibility to Finavia, which is the main airport operator in Finland. Finavia, on the other hand, has said that they have done nothing because they have not received any instructions from THL.
Another issue that, the estimate is also blurred by the fact that the coronavirus has led to an increase in the number of people receiving intensive care than the authorities believed a couple of weeks ago.
The coronavirus has led to more people of working age being in intensive care than the authorities estimation a couple of weeks ago. This could further complicate the availability and access to intensive care facilities by patients.