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Monday's papers: Schools & corona, Finland's preparedness and Nokia names new CEO

Domestic news outlets follow up on news that up to 130 people in Helsinki may have been exposed to novel coronavirus.

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At Viikki Teacher Training School four entire grades including their teachers are currently under a two-week quarantine. Image: Mikko Savolainen / Yle

Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet reports that the Finnish National Agency for Education said it’s time for Finnish schools and daycare centres to prepare for situations where several teachers and students become infected with novel coronavirus. The agency also called on the country’s schools to put plans in place for how to deal with children who fall ill during the school day.

Following news that a young pupil at a school in Helsinki’s Viikki neighborhood may have exposed up to 130 people to infection, Ilta-Sanomat reached out to a parent whose two children attended classes with the infected pupil.

The parents said health authorities have not been interested in testing the family's kids for the virus. The family told IS they suspect they may have the virus but have been instructed by authorities to go about their daily lives as normal.

Government's corona preparedness under fire

Health law professor and director of diagnostic services at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS), Lasse Lehtonen, meanwhile slams the government’s coronavirus preparedness.

Business magazine Talouselämä reports him saying that funds allocated for coronavirus readiness—8.9 million euros—amount to just 1.6 euros per resident.

"For this amount we can buy each person two litres of Pirkka low-fat milk or a tube of toothpaste from Tokmanni," TE reports Lehtonen writing on his Uusi Suomi blog.

"I find it probable that Finland will see a drastic increase in infections in the coming weeks as experts believe one infected person spreads the virus to two to three other people," Lehtonen said.

Nokia names new chief executive

In business news, Pekka Lundmark, CEO of energy company Fortum, will take over as the head of networks giant Nokia, replacing CEO Rajeev Suri who has spent over a decade at the company’s helm.

In October last year the company shocked investors by announcing it would not be paying dividends and slashed its profit forecasts as it felt pressure from 5G rivals Huawei and Ericsson.

At the start of the year Nokia announced payroll cuts affecting up to 350 jobs in Finland, following a 27 percent profit drop in the third quarter last year.

The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (Fiva) is currently investigating an unusual drop in networks giant Nokia’s share price last autumn.

Lundmark is expected to start in his new role on September 1, 2020, according to Nokia.

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