Skip to content
The article is more than 3 years old

Wednesday papers: Fast virus testing, impacts on tourism, ex-champ hangs up her gloves

Virus testing, courts on flight delay compensation, and the end of a boxing career are among the items in the newspapers on Wednesday.

Eva Wahlström
Super-featherweight world champion Eva Wahlström in 2018. Image: AOP
Yle News

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that Finnish health authorities are in the process of ordering novel coronavirus test kits that can give faster results than those currently in use.

The paper quotes Päivi Sillanaukee, the Director General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health as saying that currently the test kits are undergoing quality control reviews, but that there are plans to start using them in both the public and private healthcare sectors.

For right now, at least, Finland has the capacity to carry out needed testing for the virus, according to Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) infection specialist and chief physician Asko Järvinen.

"We don't have full information on the situation in the whole of the country at HUS, but here patients are being given appointments and we are getting the testing done," Järvinen told the paper.

Sillanaukee said that when needed, samples are being shipped from as far as Utsjoki in the north of Finnish Lapland to Helsinki for analysis. She pointed out that analysis of samples requires special labs. Sillanaukee added that by the end of the week there will be expanded testing capacity.

According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL, as of Tuesday 720 samples had been tested for novel coronavirus. At present, testing is being carried out at four laboratories - THL's own facility, as well at university hospitals in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku.

Turku's Turun Sanomat is among the papers reporting that Prime Minister Sanna Marin took part in a video conference call of EU leaders on the novel coronavirus situation Tuesday.

According to a release by the Prime Minister's office, the discussion focused on the need for coordinated efforts and information sharing to battle the outbreak.

No new concrete measures were agreed upon.

Following the call, Marin said pointed out that compared to many other EU countries, the number of cases in Finland is small, but officials are prepared for all contingencies and the required actions are being evaluated on a daily basis.

Not the worst for Lapland

An editorial in Wednesday's Lapin Kansa, a daily published in Rovaniemi, notes that the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on tourism in Finnish Lapland is not as bad, so far, as may be assumed.

The paper writes that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounds the virus and its effects. Uncertainty has become the new normal, something that feeds fears, whether those or justified or not.

It is the view of Lapin Kansa that at the end of the day, the fall in world oil prices may have a bigger impact on Finland than the corona virus.

However, if the coronavirus outbreak does not fade soon, it will also affect Lapland. Lapland produces and exports goods such as pulp, paper and steel to global markets. Tourism is also a key and growing industry. A global recession will mean that fewer people travel. There will be less investment in tourism, lost jobs and bankruptcies.

On the other hand, Lapin Kansa points out that the situation could be worse. The novel coronavirus was not a significant concern until January, after the winter tourism season had peaked. The effect on end of the season is not yet clear, but it doesn't seem that tourism has collapsed. This shows, the paper says, that Lapland is still seen as a safe destination.

Uncertainty may be to some extent a positive thing for the tourism sector. There have been signs of the tourism becoming overheated in Lapland. It may be a good thing, says Lapin Kansa, if some of the investments already planned are abandoned, or at least delayed until better times.

Don't wait to complain

Tampere's Aamulehti carries a report of the outcome of an appeal court ruling in Helsinki in which three Finnair passengers were not only denied compensation for a long flight delay, but now have been ordered to pay the airline nearly 8,000 euros in costs.

The three were booked on a Finnair flight to Chongqing China in January 2013 that was cancelled, and all rebooked on a flight 24 hours later. The passengers, as was their right, filed claims for 600 euros each in compensation for the delay.

However, these passengers did not file those claims until in February of 2015, more than two years after the incident. After Finnair refused to honour, they challenged the airline in district court where they lost when judges decided there had been an unreasonably long period between the flight delay and the claims.

The appeal court agreed with the verdict and ordered the three to cover the costs of all the legal proceedings, a total of 7,840 euros.

The complainants can, though still make one more appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ex-champ hangs up her gloves

Eva Wahlström, the only Finnish boxer to ever hold a world title, has announced her retirement from the ring.

Wahlström, who held the female super-featherweight title from April 2015 to February of this year, confirmed to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday evening that she is hanging up her gloves, at least professionally.

During her professional career, Wahlström had a record of 23 wins and only two losses and two draws.

The 39 year-old Loviisa native spent 20 years in the ring and was 10-time national amateur champion.

During her career, Eva Wahlström was also a student, earning degrees in fine arts degree and physical education. She declined to comment to Helsingin Sanomat on her future plans.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia