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Glitch in THL reporting of coronavirus infections causes sharp swings in weekend figures

On Sunday the THL reported the highest-ever daily total, after announcing an improbably low figure on Saturday.

Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitoksen THL:n kyltti Helsingissä 25. maaliskuuta 2021.
THL headquarters in Helsinki (file photo). Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva
Yle News

On Sunday, the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reported that 1,322 new coronavirus infections had been diagnosed in Finland.

That was by far the highest single-day case total ever, but includes infection figures from earlier in the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, the institute said it had technical problems in publishing data, which led to an incomplete figure being released around noon on Saturday.

Shortly after noon on Sunday the THL said in a tweet: "Infection figures have now been corrected. The figure is higher than usual because it includes reporting for the period from 12:05 pm Friday to 06:05 am on Sunday".

Weekend average similar to Friday figure

The new-case figure published by THL on Saturday was just 165 new cases. That would have been the lowest daily tally since mid-July, and sharply lower than recent days.

The daily number has been near or above 700 this past week, with 738 new infections reported on Friday.

Averaging the Saturday and Sunday figures brings a figure just over Friday's total.

Before Sunday, the highest daily number ever reported was 872, last Wednesday.

In mid-March there was a daily high of 863, and early last December a peak of 840.

Data to be confirmed on Monday

The THL usually reports every day shortly before noon, reflecting the preceding 24-hour period.

THL says that its data generation is automated over the weekend and that it will confirm the precise weekend figures on Monday. In any case, reported levels tend to be lower on Sundays and Mondays as fewer tests are carried out on weekends.

A total of 112,207 infections have been diagnosed in Finland so far.

THL also reported five new coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, after announcing none the day before. That brings the total to 991 fatalities since March 2020.

According to THL, there are currently 100 coronavirus patients in hospital, 18 of whom are in intensive care.

As of Sunday, 67.3 percent of the population had received at least one vaccine dose, with 38.6 percent fully inoculated.

On Sunday, tighter restrictions on bars and restaurants took effect in much of Finland.

13:43 Vaccination rates updated

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