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THL expands coronavirus advisory to cover arrivals from mainland China

Arrivals from mainland China with possible respiratory tract infections should first contact an emergency unit by phone.

Hengityssuojin varustautuneita matkustajia lentokoneessa.
Image: Noel Celis / AFP

The National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL, has expanded its coronavirus advisory to cover all arrivals in Finland from mainland China.

The public health authority is urging people arriving from mainland China to first phone rather than visit the emergency unit of their local hospital or health centre if they experience acute symptoms suggesting a respiratory tract infection within 14 days of leaving the region.

The symptoms include a fever, a cough and shortness of breath. The agency noted that a speedy diagnosis is essential to prevent others from contracting the disease.

The agency advised the public to cover their noses and mouths when sneezing with a napkin and to dispose of it in a bin after use. In cases where paper napkins are not available, people should cough or sneeze into their sleeves, rather than their hands.

The THL website has been updated with the new guidelines in English, Finnish and Swedish. Guidelines are also available for download by Chinese nationals.

Thousands of novel coronavirus cases have been diagnosed throughout mainland China since the outbreak first began in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province, late last year.

Only one confirmed case in Finland

Local officials have so far confirmed just one case of infection with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was diagnosed in Lapland about one week ago. That case involved a young Chinese woman who was on vacation in the Saariselkä region.

Last Sunday three Finnish citizens were reportedly on an evacuation flight from China to France, where they are being monitored.

At the end of January national airline Finnair decided to ground all flights to mainland China for almost the entire month of February. Other airlines around the world have also done the same.

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