Coronavirus round-up Monday 20th April 2020: Minister of Justice wants to believe in common sense

Finland's Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP). Zoom
Foto: Regeringskansliet

Finland's Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP).

Here's our evening round-up of the latest coronavirus news from Finland in English.
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Latest coronavirus numbers

  • According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare there are now 3,868 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Finland - an increase of 85 from the day before.

  • The number of deaths are reported at 98 but this is likely to increase during the week as authorities conceded they've only been reporting patients who died in hospital, and not any deaths in elderly care homes for example. Officials have warned there could be dozens more fatalities added to the statistics when all the coronavirus deaths are counted during this week.
  • Meanwhile a trend of fewer people in hospital over the past week has stopped now, with more people in hospital on Monday (209) than Sunday (192). However there is one person less in intensive care on Monday than the day before.


Minister of Justice: "I want to believe in common sense"

Finland's Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) says she wants to believe in common sense and responsible behaviour from Finns when it comes to social distancing and restricting all unnecessary travel. 

The ministers says the three-week Uusimaa lockdown had a positive effect on the state of coronavirus, but there's still lots more work to be done. 

“It’s a tough time for everyone, but I think people in Finland do understand, and when they see now we have been able to flatten the curve, and we have have been able to keep the amount of patients in hospitals to a level that is in fact quite low” says Henriksson.

The leader of the Swedish People's Party also says that it's not right to think of Covid-19 as a 'Helsinki disease' because it affects all parts of the country. 

"Together we can make sure our healthcare system can handle people getting sick, whether they get sick in Vaasa, Jakobstad, Pietersaari, or Helsinki, Oulu or Tampere I am glad people are following restrictions and I hope we will continue to do so, and not start to look at each other as enemies" says Henriksson.

"We are not each other's enemies. The enemy is the virus, and we have to fight against the virus together" Read more.

Doctors still lacking protective equipment

Doctors in Finland are facing shortages of personal protective equipment at work when treating coronavirus patients according to a new survey carried out by the Finnish Medical Association Lääkäriliitto of more than 8,500 doctors.

Thirty percent of respondents say there’s been a temporary shortage of protective equipment at their place of work, while 6% said there are persistent shortages.

The availability of protective gear has been best in hospitals where 69% of doctors who responded to the Lääkäriliitto survey said they had enough equipment at the time they answered the questionnaire.

Read more here.

Save the Children allocated €200,000 for food aid

Save the Children says that it has set set aside €200,000 to provide food aid to families with children who are in financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation says it relies entirely on donations and the need for support during the crisis is growing.

So far Save the Children has distributed more than 2,800 food cards with a value of €70 each and there are dozens of local associations as well as five regional offices of the charity involved in distributing food aid to those who need it most.

male doctor put on protective uniform with mask and eye glasses in the hospital

male doctor put on protective uniform with mask and eye glasses in the hospital

Are masks required? THL says no

There's been a lot of uncertainty recently over advice to wear face masks at all times. Conflicting messages have appeared in the media from experts with differing views, but now the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL says that members of the public are not required to wear masks in public - unless they want to. 

According to THL, wearing face masks does not protect the wearer from infection, even if it can stop someone carrying the virus from spreading it to others. However, THL says there's no research evidence that extensive use of the masks by healthy individuals would reduce infections. 

In addition, THL and the Ministry of Health say that use of self-made cloth masks in public cases can leat to a false sense of security.


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5 nya coronafall i Finland – epidemin fortsätter backa

Institutet för hälsa och välfärd meddelar på söndagen om 5 nya coronafall i Finland.
Foto: Sofia Westerholm/SPT

Institutet för hälsa och välfärd meddelar på söndagen om 5 nya coronafall i Finland.

Av alla de smittade uppskattas över 90 procent redan ha tillfrisknat, meddelar Institutet för hälsa och välfärd.

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