Tuesday. 31.03.2020
El tiempo

First death from coronavirus in Finland

The patient died on Friday but Finnish authorities took a day to report.

First death from coronavirus in Finland

Finland already recorded its first victim of coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish). 

This is an old person from the capital region who died on Friday but, inexplicably, the Finnish authorities have not released until Saturday at around three in the afternoon, even after publishing their daily report of infections.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, in its Finnish acronym) said in a press release that the victim is "a very elderly person living in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital disctrict." This is the first death caused by Covid-19 in the country.

THL says "Finland's first coronavirus death is extremely unfortunate, but not unexpected. Although the majority of sufferers have relatively mild coronavirus disease, the disease can be serious in older people, especially those with cronical diseases."

Secrecy

Finnish authorities say no additional information will be disclosed to protect the victim's privacy. For example not even the age or gender of the victim has been made public. And it is surprising that it took them a day to report this first death.

In a country that boasts transparency towards the rest of the world, the secrecy with which the Government is handling the epidemic is surprising these days.

On Friday, authorities were also involved in a controversy after it emerged that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health had ordered hospitals not to disclose figures of patients admitted to intensive care.

On Saturday, THL reported 71 new diagnosed cases of coronavirus.

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