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Finland ramps up coronavirus preparedness

The government has set up a working group to help Finland brace for coronavirus.

 Pääministeri SDP:n Sanna Marin, valtiovarainministeri keskustan Katri Kulmuni ja sisäministeri vihreiden Maria Ohisalo.
From left: Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni and Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

PM Sanna Marin’s cabinet will on Wednesday discuss the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak and Finland’s preparedness regarding the epidemic, according to Finnish news agency STT.

"The situation has changed significantly with the probability increasing that we will also see cases," public health specialist Jussi Sane from the Finnish institute for health and welfare (THL) told Yle’s morning show Aamu-tv on Wednesday. "We have clear protocol on how to identify cases at an early stage and break the infection chain."

On Thursday afternoon the Finnish government will host a press conference on the new coronavirus strain.

Marin also tweeted that she plans to update Parliament on Finland’s coronavirus preparedness on Thursday.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on Tuesday said it had established a working group to support coronavirus preparedness in Finland’s public health system. The group will evaluate municipal and hospital preparedness and take stock of medical supplies.

As coronavirus spreads across Europe, the THL reported on Tuesday that in addition to mainland China, an increased risk of infection now also applies to Iran, South Korea and the Italian regions of Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna.

Twenty Finns are currently quarantined at a hotel on the Canary Island of Tenerife over coronavirus fears.

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