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Government receives comprehensive briefing on coronavirus situation and decides on additional coordination

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 27.2.2020 13.33 | Published in English on 27.2.2020 at 13.46
Press release 96/2020

The Government was given an extensive update from the ministries on the coronavirus and preparedness for its spread in its negotiations on Wednesday 26 February. The Government was presented with a comprehensive overview of the coronavirus situation, along with a disease update from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. In addition, the Government was given an overview of the preparedness situations of the responsible ministries (the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.)

Finland is closely monitoring the situation, together with various authorities, and has access to current information on any changes in the coronavirus situation.

The parliamentary groups were briefed on the coronavirus situation this morning. In addition, the Prime Minister will submit her announcement on Finland’s preparedness for the coronavirus to Parliament later today.

On the whole, Finland is well prepared for the spread of the coronavirus. We have begun taking preparedness measures well in advance. As the coronavirus is now spreading in Europe, the Government also decided on additional coordination in its negotiations.

A COVID-19 coordination group will be established in the Government for the time being. The group consists of the Permanent Secretaries and Preparedness Managers of the responsible ministries (the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport and Communications). The group is headed by the State Secretary to the Prime Minister and its secretary is the Director of Government Security. The Director of Government Communications and an expert from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are permanent expert members. Representatives from other administrative branches may also be invited to join the group as necessary.

The budget includes provisions of EUR 8.9 million for additional expenditures such as the situation caused by the coronavirus. In addition, the Government is prepared to cover any additional costs generated by the coronavirus through the supplementary budget procedure if necessary.

Inquiries: Henrik Haapajärvi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Political Affairs), tel. +358 50 339 2604 and Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 536 4821.

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