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Pupils, staff quarantined after 2 Helsinki schools report coronavirus

Published : 18 May 2020, 20:42

  DF News Desk

File Photo City of Helsinki by Vladimir Pohtokari.

Two COVID-19 infections have been found in two primary schools in Helsinki, and some students and staff at the two schools have been placed in quarantine following exposure to the disease, reported news agency Xinhua, quoting the City of Helsinki on Monday.

Timo Lukkarinen, medical chief of Helsinki health centers, told a Finnish language daily Helsingin Sanomat on Monday that each school had reported one confirmed coronavirus case. He did not disclose whether the infected are students or staff members.

At the school in Itakeskus in eastern Helsinki, one student and two staff members have been quarantined for two weeks. At the school in Kannelmäki in the city's northwest, 14 students and four employees have been sent home for isolation. During their absence from school, the students will engage in distance learning at home.

The City of Helsinki said that contact teaching will continue in the two schools, and all other students, except those now quarantined, will normally come to school.

Lukkarinen told the national broadcaster Yle that it could well be that there will be no further infections at either school, especially at Kannelmäki.

Possible exposure to infection at the Kannelmäki school occurred long before students returned to school on May 14, he said, adding that the quarantine order was issued just to be on the safe side.

Most primary and lower secondary schools in Finland reopened on May 14, after a two-month closure to slow the spread of COVID-19. The government has instructed schools to take measures to keep pupils apart as much as possible, including staggered class breaks and lunch hours.

As of Monday, Finland has reported 6,380 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 300 deaths.

According to a preliminary estimate, at least 5,000 people have recovered from the disease,´ said Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).