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COVID-19 epidemic continues to slow down in Finland but infections still possible

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 17.6.2020 20.27 | Published in English on 18.6.2020 at 12.48
Press release 162/2020

According to the assessment published on 17 June 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continues to slow down compared to the situation two weeks ago. The number of cases reported weekly to the communicable diseases register has still continued to decrease.

Now the estimated basic reproduction number is 0.40–0.80. This means that in Finland the spread of COVID-19 has been slowing down for some time now.
During the last period (8–14 June), no new cases were reported in eight hospital districts.

Only a small number of new cases have been detected in hospital districts other than the Hospital District of Uusimaa and Helsinki. The number of new cases in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa has also decreased considerably. In fact, the number has fallen by half compared to the previous week.

The number of patients hospitalised due to the disease has also continued to decrease from the situation two weeks ago. In the catchment areas for highly specialised medical care of the university hospitals, the situation regarding coronavirus-related hospital care is very calm. The intensive care capacity has not been exceeded at any point during the epidemic. Because the epidemiological situation is currently calm, it has not been necessary to issue a separate weekly report on the state of intensive care since 11 June. In future, the number of patients in intensive care will be included in the weekly assessment report published by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. 

At present the coronavirus testing capacity of laboratories is more than 13,000 samples per day. During the period 8–14 June, the number of people tested for coronavirus was smaller than in the previous weeks. The number of people with a positive test result of all those tested has decreased slightly.

The aim for Finland is to test all cases where the acute phase of the coronavirus infection is suspected. It is therefore important that the threshold for people to have themselves tested is kept very low. Testing helps to identify the sources of infection and transmission chains and to prevent further infections.

In Finland, an estimated 6,400 people have recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The assessment of the coronavirus situation published today and earlier assessment reports are available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

The impact of Finland’s hybrid strategy in combating the COVID-19 epidemic is monitored by means of epidemiological, medical and functional indicators. The strategy aims to prevent the spread of the virus in Finland, protect the capacity of the healthcare system, and shield and protect people, especially those who are most at risk.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare produce weekly assessments of the epidemiological situation both nationally and regionally.

Inquiries:

Taneli Puumalainen, Chief Physician, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] (epidemiological questions)
Kari Auranen, Professor, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] (projection models)
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Strategic Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (situational picture and modelling group)