THL Covid infection figures fluctuate due to technical problems

The weekend average was slightly below other figures in September so far. Meanwhile 14 cases of the newer Mu variant have been found in Finland.

A sign pointing to a coronavirus testing site in Helsinki's Meilahti district in July. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

On Sunday the THL Institute for Health and Welfare said that 910 new Covid infections had been diagnosed in Finland. On Saturday the THL's communications department said that a low number of infections reported then, 87, was incorrect.

It told the Finnish News Agency STT that the figure was erroneous and that the technical issue would likely be fixed with Sunday's infection rate update.

Saturday's 87 would have been the lowest daily figure since mid-June, and far below recent weeks' average of 500-700 a day.

The two numbers together give a daily average of just under 500, slightly lower than the average so far in September.

Similar anomalies occurred on weekends in June and August. On the first Saturday of August, the THL also reported an improbably low infection rate, but corrected the whole weekend tally on Monday.

Little change in fatality and hospitalisation figures

The weekend numbers bring the overall total to 130,102 cases since late January 2020.

The THL noted in a tweet on Saturday that since June its technical support staff has only been working on weekdays, when any reporting errors are corrected.

The THL also only reports fatalities and hospitalisation data on weekdays.

On Friday it announced one more death, bringing the total to 1,031 since late March 2020.

The institute also said that there were 91 patients in hospital nationwide, 21 of them in intensive care units. Following a peak in late March 2021, those figures have not changed significantly during the summer, except for a slight uptick early last month.

HBL: 14 cases of Mu variant

On Friday the daily Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reported that so far 14 cases of the Mu variant of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Finland, citing THL data.

The Mu or B.1.621 variant was first identified last January in Colombia, where it now accounts 39 percent of all cases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier this week classified it as a "variant of interest" due to properties that may make it vaccine-resistant.

According to the THL, virtually all Covid infections in Finland at the moment are of the highly infectious Delta variant.