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Coronavirus latest: 565 new cases, March shutdown announced

This article brings you the latest updates on the novel coronavirus pandemic in Finland.

Hoitaja ojentaa koronatestipuikkoa.
Health care worker administering coronavirus test, file photo. Image: Mari Kahila / Yle
  • 55,687 lab-confirmed infections as of Thursday 25.2 (up by 565 since Wednesday)
  • 740 deaths attributed to coronavirus as of Thursday 25.2 (up by 3 since Wednesday)
  • 194 people in hospital, 36 of them in intensive care as of Thursday 24.2
  • 319,559 people (5.8% of the population) had received at least one vaccination dose as of 25.2
  • THL reports on Covid-related fatalities and hospital patient statistics on weekdays

26.2 9:21 Papers: School exposures, vaccines for teachers and jab queue

Among other topics in Friday's newspaper review, we learned that experts are concerned about the risk of secondary school pupils bringing coronavirus infections to classrooms after this week's winter holidays.

25.2 19:50 Incorrect vaccine doses given in Pirkanmaa

Around 50 people vaccinated in the town of Nokia will need to be revaccinated as they were given doses that were too small. Those affected will be contacted in person.

Using the so-called 'air bubble technique', shown at official vaccine training sessions, it is possible for vaccinators to inadvertently underdose when using the Pfizer and Biontech vaccine.

According to Katja Ylitolva, medical director at the town of Nokia, the incorrect doses were administered only on 24 February.

More on this story here.

25.2 17:30 How will the new shutdown affect you?

On Thursday, the government announced that Finland is about to enter a three-week shutdown, beginning on 8 March.

This means that in the areas where the virus is in the 'spreading' and 'acceleration' stages, an immediate transition to the stricter 'Tier 2' measures is recommended.

These tougher 'Tier 2' measures will apply to seven areas: Helsinki and Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Satakunta, Kanta-Häme, Vaasa, Åland and Lapland.

The government also recommended for hospital districts in the acceleration stage to impose restrictions effective immediately.

These areas are East Savo, South Karelia, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, Päijät-Häme, Länsi-Pohja, North Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia and Kymenlaakso.

Read how the new shutdown will affect you here.

25.2 16:10 Tallink reports 108 million euro loss and 3,000 layoffs in 2020

Estonian ferry and shipping company Tallink lost 108.3 million euros in 2020, according to financial results published on Thursday.

The Helsinki–Stockholm route, operated by the company's Silja Line brand, was among those put on hold as the virus spread last year.

Read more here.

25.2 12:05 Case figures jump in Finland, 565 new cases on Thursday

Finland recorded another 565 confirmed Covid cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 55,687 since the start of the pandemic. Thursday's cases are concentrated in Uusimaa, which recorded some 366 of them.

At the weekly briefing on Covid, officials announced that in the week beginning on 15 February prevalence jumped to 62 cases per 100,000 residents. The previous week, that figure had been 46 per 100,000 residents.

Officials said that non-urgent procedures had been postponed in Helsinki because of the increased numbers of Covid patients in hospitals, and caseloads were increasing at hospitals nationwide.

The majority of infections are among working-age people, especially young adults. Of all cases, some 80 percent were detected among people aged under 50 and around 45 percent among people aged under 30.

Cases among those aged over 60 accounted for nine percent of the total, and the over-70s made up three percent of all cases.

Some 11,000 people were ordered to quarantine last week, which is some 2,700 more than during the previous week.

As of 22 February there had been some 690 cases of mutated Covid variants in Finland, with 660 of those the British variant.

Of those, some 529 were recorded in the Helsinki region.

25.2 10:38 Lockdown announced

Finland has announced expanded Covid control measures, including more remote learning for some pupils and a three-week shutdown for pubs and restaurants starting on 8 March. Read more here.

25.2 08:40 Papers: Another state of emergency?

Thursday morning's papers look ahead to a government coronavirus press conference scheduled for 09:30 this morning, with the expectation that the country is about to enter a state of emergency like the one last spring.

Elsewhere, Iltalehti raises the prospect of faster coronavirus testing, as a Finnish lab introduces portable equipment that can analyse PCR tests onsite.

You can read more about these stories and more here.

Previous updates available here.

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