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Friday's papers: Covid reinfections, equal pay and housing boom

Finland's press explore catching coronavirus a second time, the rights of disabled workers and climbing home prices.

VR:n työntekijä jakaa kasvomaskeja Helsingin päärautatieasemalla.
A VR worker distributes masks at Helsinki Central Railway Station. Image: Arttu Timonen / Yle

Finland has seen its first cases of people becoming reinfected with Covid, according to Helsingin Sanomat. The cases, which doctors said have been mild and among people of all ages, have surfaced in the Turku and Uusimaa region.

"I believe that there are cases like this in other parts of the country too, and we’ll probably see more cases like this towards the end of the year," said Jutta Peltoniemi, Turku’s chief physician for infectious diseases.

The handful of people who caught Covid again this autumn were initially infected in the spring, tested negative for the virus in the summer, but became positive again in the autumn. Medical experts classify infections as new if more than six months passes between them.

The paper also reports that schools in Finland are not planning to extend the winter holidays because of the virus. The autumn term ends on 23 December in the capital region with pupils set to return after Epiphany on 7 January.

Equal pay?

People in Finland with intellectual disabilities don’t necessarily earn equal pay--or any pay at all--reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

Non-profit group Inclusion Finland (FDUV) told HBL it is lobbying for people with intellectual disabilities to get paid for their work.

The organisation estimates that some 3,000 of Finland’s 25,000 intellectually disabled people are able to perform salaried work. However, only 600 of these individuals get paid for their labour.

A house in the suburbs

Juggling working from home and kids’ remote schooling has led to those who can afford it to buy bigger homes, writes business daily Kauppalehti.

Increased demand has pushed up house prices nationwide by roughly three percent across Finland in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. At the same time plots of land for detached houses also became more expensive, rising by an average of over seven percent nationwide.

House prices rose the most in the capital region, by around five percent, according to KL.

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