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THL confirms first coronavirus death in Finland

The deceased was an elderly person residing in southern Finland.

Private medical provider Mehiläinen's drive-in coronavirus testing station in Espoo this week. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Finland’s first coronavirus death was announced on Saturday by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The patient was an elderly individual who lived in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district.

THL declined to give any more information on the individual, citing patient confidentiality.

"First death not a surprise"

THL director general Markku Tervahauta said Finland's first coronavirus fatality did not come as a surprise.

"It occurred in the most vulnerable group - the elderly," he said.

Tervahauta underscored the importance of ensuring the virus would not spread to eldercare facilities.

"While the deceased individual was elderly, it's critical to remember that this virus can cause serious health problems in younger people too," he added.

As of Saturday, 521 people in Finland had been confirmed as suffering from the novel coronavirus.