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Finland to run coronavirus tests for incoming passengers

Published : 30 Jul 2020, 02:30

  DF Report

Helsinki Airport. File Photo Finavia.

The Finnish authorities will start coronavirus tests for incoming passengers at Helsinki airport by next week, announced the City of Vantaa on Wednesday.

The initiative of the coronavirus testing was taken jointly by the City of Vantaa, the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS), and Finavia, the company that operates the country’s airports, said the report.

The authorities want to combat coronavirus at the border by identifying the infected people to prevent the disease from spreading inland.

The health counseling and testing point is responsible for advising passengers, assessing the need for testing and guiding passengers to the testing if necessary, said the City of Vantaa in a press release, adding that not all passengers will be tested, but those with symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected of being infected will be selected for testing.

Finavia will distribute coronavirus advisory material to passengers arriving at the airport, which will include a symptoms questionnaire. Once completed, the passenger is expected to seek medical advice independently and from there apply for a test, if required.

Only those, who have coronavirus symptoms and people who suspect they have been exposed to the virus in the country of their origin or on their journey, will be tested at the airport, reported national broadcaster Yle, quoting Timo Aronkytö of Vantaa’s Social and Health Care Division as saying.

The Helsinki City is also planning to tackle the pandemic effectively by introducing testing points at the city’s seaports in August, the report added, quoting Sanna Isosomppi, the city’s chief physician of epidemiological operations, the Yle report added.

News agency Xinhua adds: Tested passengers should not use public transportation to leave the airport. If necessary, passengers are instructed to use taxis capable of carrying potential infected people, according to the city.