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Finland's first coronavirus patient released from hospital symptom-free

The 32-year-old woman who was confirmed as having the virus last week has recovered, a specialist in Lapland reports.

Lapland Central Hospital Image: Maija-Liisa Juntti / Yle

A tourist visiting from China who was confirmed to have the new strain of coronavirus last week was released from Lapland Central Hospital on Wedneday after testing negative for the illness, according to the facility's infectious diseases specialist Markku Broas.

"Results of tests carried out on two consecutive days were negative. The woman is in good condition and no longer has symptoms," Broas said.

The two most recent tests on the 32-year-old female patient were taken on Monday and Tuesday, and the negative results were confirmed on Wednesday.

The patient - from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) - had been on holiday at the Saariselkä resort village in northern Finland when she was brought to Lapland Central Hospital in the city of Rovaniemi on Tuesday 28 January.

The following day, coronavirus tests on the patient were confirmed positive and the patient was held in isolation at the medical facility until Wednesday of this week. The incident marked the first and only confirmed case of the disease in Finland.

Finland reaching out

Broas said that 21 individuals in Finland are believed to have been exposed to the virus. Fourteen of them are still in quarantine and expected to be released over the weekend, by Monday at the latest. Three of the quarantined patients tested negative for the virus last week.

Meanwhile, three others who were possibly exposed to the virus are known to have left the country. The National Authority for Health and Welfare (THL) said the agency has been in contact with health authorities in the home countries of those visitors.

Finnish authorities have not been able to reach four of the people possibly exposed to the virus.

Hospitals in Lapland said it was difficult to identify a portion of those tourists potentially exposed to the virus because they had participated in the same activities as the confirmed coronavirus patient and some had only used nicknames or first names to register for the activities.

6 Feb: Corrected patient's age.