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Number of COVID-19 cases remains high although growth rate of new infections has stabilised

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 19.8.2021 10.00 | Published in English on 19.8.2021 at 12.19
Press release 227

The number of new COVID-19 cases has remained at almost the same level as the week before. The total number of new cases reported between 9 and 15 August was 5,163, whereas in the previous week the number of new cases was 5,072. Currently, COVID-19 is spreading especially among unvaccinated young people and young adults.

Out of about 142,000 COVID-19 tests administered in Finland last week, the proportion of positive samples was 3.6 per cent. The incidence of new COVID-19 cases in the last two-week period (2–15 August) was 185 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the effective basic reproduction number is currently 1.05–1.25, with a 90 per cent probability. Last week, the proportion of infections from abroad was around 9 per cent.

The source of infection was traced successfully in 52 per cent of all new cases in Finland. The backlogs in contact tracing reflect the increase in the number of infections and a shortage of personnel available for tracing. It is not always possible to receive all necessary information from infected and exposed persons about other potentially exposed persons.

Between 9 and 15 August, a total of 12,108 people were quarantined, which is over 2,200 people more than in the preceding week. About one fourth (24 per cent) of all new cases were reported among people already in quarantine. Some regions have reported backlogs in contact tracing and delays in placing people in isolation and quarantine. There is also a lot of regional variation in how well contacts are traced.

Burden on specialised medical care increased slightly

Based on the information provided by the hospital districts, a total of 106 people were receiving hospital care due to the COVID-19 disease on 18 August 2021. Of them, 12 were inpatients in primary healthcare, 65 inpatients in specialised healthcare and 29 inpatients in intensive care. On 18 August 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the epidemic was 1,008.

The overall burden on specialised healthcare has increased slightly. The need for intensive care in particular has increased over the past few weeks due to the growing number of infections. The majority of those in need of hospital care are unvaccinated. 

In Finland, around 69 per cent of the population have received at least their first vaccine dose and about 44 per cent of the population have received a full COVID-19 vaccine course, i.e. they have received the second vaccine dose. The vaccination of 12–15-year-olds, which started earlier in August, is progressing at pace. About 24 per cent of those belonging to this age group have already received their first vaccine dose. 

The epidemiological situation is monitored weekly. A report on the epidemic is published on Thursdays at 10.00.
The monitoring report on the epidemic published today and the previous reports are available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.


Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Director of Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] 
Otto Helve, Head of Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]

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