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Possible 2nd wave of coronavirus may hit harder in Finland

Published : 01 Jun 2020, 22:42

Updated : 02 Jun 2020, 00:58

  DF News Desk

The crisis follow-up group chaired by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Martti Hetemäki submitted the second part of its report to the Government on Monday 1 June. Photo Finnish government by Lauri Heikkinen.

The societal and economic repercussions of a possible second COVID-19 wave may be more serious in Finland, a Finnish governmental policy group warned on Monday in a report, according to news agency Xinhua.

In the report, the group, headed by Martti Hetemäki, the Permanent State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, noted that Finland will be weaker in encountering the second wave due to the impact of the first wave.

It urged that the "epidemiological response should be as efficient as in the first wave" while the economic impact should be kept smaller.

The group noted that in responding this past winter, some responsibilities "fell between administrative branches," which brought inefficiencies to curbing COVID-19. And to avoid this in the future, all levels of administration should be included in future planning.

The group warned that if the crisis lingers on, not all enterprises can be saved, and Finland should choose those that are nationally essential when giving public assistance.

It underlined "green recovery" and the promotion of carbon neutrality. "Finland is worth aiming at being a front runner in climate action, as innovations there could improve exports."

The group also acknowledged that it is not realistic to correct the fiscal sustainability deficit created by the COVID-19 response within a few years.

From Monday, restaurants and cafes throughout the country started to reopen, while a special law restricts the opening hours and limits the number of customers at a time to half the normal capacity. These temporary rules will remain in force until the end of October.