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Number of Covid patients in ICUs drops to 9-month low

The number of coronavirus patients in hospital has fallen in the past week, with fewer in intensive care than at any time since last summer.

Checking equipment in the Covid ICU at Oulu University Hospital (file photo). Image: Paulus Markkula / Yle

The number of Covid patients being treated at hospitals has decreased significantly in the past week, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Thursday.

The total has fallen by more than half from the peak of 1,026 in late March. Meanwhile the number of patients in intensive care has dropped to its lowest level since early last August.

As of Thursday there were 486 Covid patients in hospital, 16 of them in ICUs. The total number has fallen by more than 100 within a week, when it was over 600.

Meanwhile nearly 90 percent of the adult population has had two doses of vaccine, while 65 percent have had three. Just 5 and a half percent have had four. They are only recommended for people over 80 or with immune deficiency.

4th jab may be offered more widely in autumn

The second health minister, Aki Lindén (SDP) said last week that the minimum age for fourth doses may be lowered next autumn.

"In all likelihood, we will have an epidemic caused by some corona variant next autumn," he told MPs.

Lindén predicted that the age restriction for second boosters would be dropped from 80. However, he said he would await expert advice on the matter.

Lindén, a physician, chairs the Ministerial Working Group on Covid-19. He took over as Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services in February, replacing fellow Social Democrat Krista Kiuru, who is on family leave. He serves alongside Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen (Left).

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