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Finland to double testing capacity, strengthen coronavirus co-ordination

Prime Minister Sanna Marin admitted that things had not gone as well as they could have at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Valtiosihteeri Mikko Koskinen (vas.), pääministeri Sanna Marin ja valtioneuvoston turvallisuusjohtaja Ahti Kurvinen hallituksen koronatilannekatsauksessa Helsingissä 1. huhtikuuta
From left: Secretary of State Mikko Koskinen, Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Director of Government Security Ahti Kurvinen at the press conference on Wednesday. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Finland is to expand testing for novel coronavirus and strengthen the coordination group in charge of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin admitted things had not gone perfectly at Helsinki Airport, where thousands of travellers have arrived without clear instructions on how and whether or not they should self-isolate.

"Information has not flowed as it should and co-ordination has not worked as it should," said Marin.

At the same press conference, Social Services Minister Krista Kiuru announced that testing capacity would be doubled in the near future from the current level of 2,500 tests per day.

Health Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said that Finland had already spent hundreds of millions of euros on acquiring protective equipment for healthcare workers, and the first consignments would arrive this week.

She said there was no shortage on a national level, but noted that there were regional differences in the availability of protective kits.

Marin’s state secretary Mikko Koskinen said that senior officials from each ministry have met regularly over the last few weeks.

They will now join the Covid-19 group along with the head of government security Ahti Kurvinen, head of communications Päivi Anttikoski, Mika Salminen from the THL and Marin’s senior official, Mikko Koskinen.

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