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Dozens of Finns exposed to coronavirus at party in Estonia

Passengers who travelled from Tallinn to Helsinki by ship in early August may have also been exposed.

Matkustajia saapuu Länsisatamaan.
Passengers disembarking from a Tallink ship in Helsinki (file photo). Image: Jaani Lampinen / Yle

Dozens of Finns were exposed to coronavirus at a private event held in Estonia last weekend, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Friday. Most have returned to Finland. The participants have been contacted and most of them have been placed under quarantine as a precaution.

THL said the event was held in Estonia 31 July–2 August. Two people from Helsinki who attended have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections. They had symptoms during the weekend and were taken to hospital in Tallinn.

According to Estonian public broadcaster ERR, the event was a birthday party held at a former Nehatu school in Lääneranna on Estonia's southwest coast, some 125 km from the capital, Tallinn.

Eighty-one people from various parts of Finland took part, as well as a few Estonians. More than half of the guests from Helsinki. Others were from 13 different municipalities in all parts of the country.

"This case is an example of how the disease can spread quickly to various areas of Finland. People with even mild symptoms should not take part in public events, go to work or circulate in public places except for essential matters," Prof. Mika Salminen, director of the THL's Department for Health Security said in a statement.

Tests negative so far

Twenty-two of those who returned to Finland report having corona-like symptoms since the trip. Test results have so far been negative, but the THL says that health officials are monitoring the situation carefully.

Most of those who were exposed came back to Finland 2–3 August on passenger ferries operated by Eckerö Line & Finbo Cargo, Tallink Silja and Viking Line.

The THL urges those who were onboard ships on those dates to monitor their health and contact health officials if they have possible symptoms.

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