Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Number of patients receiving hospital care due to COVID-19 remains high
It is recommended that everyone aged 18 years or over take a third vaccine dose. Although the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 have been eased, it is still important for people to stay at home when ill, to wear a mask in public indoor spaces and to practise good hand hygiene.
On Sunday 27 February, there were 316 inpatients in specialised healthcare, while the week before, on 20 February, this number was 322. It is estimated that two out of five patients in specialised healthcare were being treated mainly for some other reason than COVID-19. On 27 February, the total number of patients in intensive care was 44, compared to 38 on 20 February. Between 21 and 27 February, 36 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care, while in the previous week the number was 25. The daily number of patients receiving intensive care mainly due to COVID-19 varied between 29 and 31 during the week ending on 27 February.
Assessing the course of the epidemic still involves a considerable degree of uncertainty. The estimated basic reproduction number is the same as the week before, i.e. 0.85–1.05, with a 90 per cent probability. This number is based on the number of COVID-19 cases in specialised healthcare.
The overall level of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in Finland’s wastewater has remained high. The level of viral genetic material has started to decrease only in Espoo and Helsinki, whereas it has continued to increase or remained stable in other regions where samples are taken. 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 on Friday at 12.00.
On Sunday 27 February 2022, the total number of deaths which had occurred within 30 days of a positive COVID-19 test and which had been reported to the communicable diseases register was 2,366. In the past two weeks (14–27 February), a total of 152 deaths were reported, while in the preceding two-week period the figure was 225. As part of epidemiological situational assessment, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has monitored the number of deaths occurring within a month of a COVID-19 diagnosis. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is currently examining the number of deaths where the primary cause of death is not, however, linked to COVID-19.
Vaccinations continue to provide effective protection against the most serious forms of COVID-19. It is particularly important that people aged 60 or over and those belonging to risk groups get a third vaccine dose. By 2 March 2022, 86.4 per cent of people in Finland who are 18 years of age or over had received at least two vaccine doses and 61 per cent three vaccine doses. Over the past week (24 February–2 March), the uptake of the third vaccine dose among people aged 18 or over rose by approximately 0.6 percentage points. The increase in the uptake has continued to slow down: in the preceding week, the uptake of the third dose rose by 0.8 percentage points. A fourth vaccine dose is recommended for those aged 12 or over who have a severely weakened immune system.
The means to combat the epidemic are targeted local and regional measures. As the restrictions are eased, the focus will be 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.
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Mika Salminen, Director, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
o Monitoring reports on the hybrid strategy (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), in Finnish and Swedish
o Progress with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), in Finnish and Swedish
o Situation update on coronavirus (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
o The COVID-19 epidemic: regional situation, recommendations and restrictions (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
o Coronavirus cases, hospital treatment situation and deaths (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
o Coronavirus in numbers (Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa)
o Guidelines of the hybrid strategy to manage the COVID-19 epidemic in 2022, in Finnish
o Effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on wellbeing, services and the economy (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), in Finnish
o Situation in intensive care: COVID-19 in intensive care (Kuopio University Hospital), in Finnish