Tuesday April 16, 2024

COVID-19 infections on rise in Finland

Published : 11 Nov 2023, 02:17

Updated : 11 Nov 2023, 02:35

  DF News Desk
File Photo: Helsinki-Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).

As the number of COVID-19 infections in Finland is growing, hospitals in several cities have to necessitate the reduction of non-urgent services to accommodate COVID-19 patients, reported Xinhua, quoting local media reports.

In the largest of the Finnish health districts, serving west central Pirkanmaa, the preparedness level was raised to high demand mode on Wednesday.

"The situation has been developing gradually. We currently have a significant number of COVID-19 patients," said district director Marina Erhola.

Currently, people aged 65 and above, as well as those in risk groups, are recommended to receive both seasonal influenza and COVID-19 shots.

According to the national broadcaster Yle's latest survey, hospitals are overflowing in three regions besides Pirkanmaa, and there have been media reports from across Finland about hours-long waiting times and difficulties in getting vaccination appointments.

Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, minister of social security, admitted in parliament on Thursday that the vaccination rollout started too slowly, but noted that public service health districts are in charge.

The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) acknowledged last week that the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to regional health districts had begun too late, given the ongoing epidemic.

The health districts said that they no longer have extra manpower now. Based on a decree change by the government in June, COVID-19 has become a "monitored communicable disease." Additional government financing has also expired.