Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Number of COVID-19 patients in hospital care remains high
There are still no signs of the COVID-19 epidemic abating in Finland. The total number of patients in specialised healthcare and primary healthcare has remained high since the turn of 2021–2022. Vaccinations continue to provide effective protection against the more serious forms of the disease. It is essential that people take measures to prevent the spread of infections.
On Sunday 3 April 2022, there were 425 inpatients in specialised healthcare, of whom 44 were inpatients in intensive care and 381 inpatients in other wards. The number of intensive care patients decreased at the end of January, and since then, it has remained at around 30–50.
Between 21 March and 3 April, a total of 853 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to specialised healthcare. At the national level, the number of new patients in specialised healthcare has remained quite high. Altogether 84 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care between 21 March and 3 April. The number of new intensive care patients is about the same as in the preceding two weeks when the total of new admissions was 81. On Wednesday 6 April 2022, about one out of three patients in specialised healthcare was being treated mainly for some other reason than COVID-19. The corresponding figure for intensive care was approximately one out of four patients.
On Wednesday 6 April 2022, the total number of COVID-19 patients in primary healthcare was 591. The number of patients in primary healthcare grew sharply at the turn of 2021–2022. In January and February, the number of patients remained high, and it continued to grow in March. On Wednesday 6 April, approximately one third of all COVID-19 patients in primary healthcare were being treated mainly for some other reason than COVID-19.
On 3 April 2022, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 3,252. In the past two weeks (21 March–3 April), a total of 406 deaths were reported, while in the preceding two-week period the figure was 275. The average age (median) of those who have died during the epidemic is 83 years. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen as infections have also spread widely among older people.
The estimated effective basic reproduction number is 0.85–0.95 with a 90 per cent probability. The number has reduced slightly since it was reported previously. The number was then 0.90–1.05. The effective basic reproduction number reflects the trend in the spread of infections among the population. A value of just below 1 indicates that there is a possible downward trend in the epidemic at the level of overall population. However, it is possible that the epidemic progresses at different speeds in different age groups.
In Finland, over 87 per cent of people who are 18 years of age or over have received at least two vaccine doses and 63 per cent three vaccine doses. A total of 85 per cent of people aged 60 or over have received three vaccine doses, and 18 per cent of people over 80 years of age who have received three vaccine doses have also received a fourth vaccine dose. Vaccinations continue to provide effective protection against the more serious forms of the disease.
Based on the wastewater samples collected during this and last week (between 27–28 March 2022 and 3–4 April 2022), the overall levels of coronavirus RNA in Finland’s wastewater have remained high. These results can be seen in the weekly report on wastewater monitoring to be published on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (external link, opens in a new tab) on Friday at 12.00.
The means to combat the epidemic are targeted local and regional measures. As the restrictions have been eased, the focus is on people’s own measures to prevent the spread of infections, avoiding close contacts when ill, using home testing, and as high a vaccination coverage as possible. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has compiled the key monitoring information on the COVID-19 epidemic on its website (external link, opens in a new tab).