Tuesday April 13, 2021

COVID spreads slower, restrictions must stay

Published : 08 Apr 2021, 19:27

Updated : 09 Apr 2021, 01:43

  DF Report

The officials Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare at a press conference described the coronavirus situation of the country on Thursday. Photo: Finnish government by Jussi Altonen.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Finland dropped before Easter, and this downward trend continues, said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in a joint press release on Thursday.

The current restrictions and recommendations and the closure of businesses serving food or beverages have clearly had an impact. The positive trend can be maintained by continuing with the restrictions, and they should not be dismantled too early or too quickly.

The number of new cases remains high, amounting to over 3,000 a week.

There are major regional differences in the development of the epidemic. Southern Finland is still the worst affected area. Over the past two weeks, the incidence has been highest in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and the Hospital District of Southwest Finland, despite a downward trend.

The incidence is lowest in the hospital districts of South Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, Länsi-Pohja, and Lapland.

Between 29 March and 4 April, about 3,400 new cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of nearly 1,000 cases from the figure in the previous week. The incidence of new cases was 58 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the previous week it was 75.

The total number of new cases in the last two-week period was more than 7,350, or more than 2,250 cases fewer than that in the preceding two-weeks.

The incidence of new cases was 133 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the preceding two weeks it was 174. Currently, the estimated basic reproduction number is 0.75–0.90, with a 90 per cent probability. This, too, is slightly less than the number in the week before.

More than 123,000 COVID-19 tests were taken between 29 March and 4 April, showing a decrease on the number of tests taken earlier in March. The percentage of positive COVID-19 cases of all samples taken in Finland was also decreasing at 2.6 per cent, compared to more than three per cent for the whole of March.

There was a considerable increase in the need for hospital care and intensive care in March. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care peaked at 64 on 23 March. Since then the number of intensive care patients has declined. Patient numbers in other hospital care have also dropped: on 7 April there were 45 patients in intensive care, 59 inpatients in primary healthcare and 146 inpatients in specialised healthcare. The total number of inpatients was 250, compared to 295 in the previous week. On 8 April, the total number of deaths related to the disease was 866.