HELSINKI – Political parties differ on whether government did enough on COVID-19

A survey commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company shows that 49% of citizens consider the Government’s actions to tackle the coronavirus timely and appropriate, while 46% said that restrictions could have been tighter. 

Although there were no considerable differences in opinion between age groups, party affiliations seemed to matter a lot. Of the populist Finns Party supporters, 75% were hoping for tougher measures, while only 29% of the Left Alliance had that view.

Neither the Greens (34%) or the Social Democrats (32%) were not particularly keen on further restrictions. Yet, according to analysts the exceptional situation is slowly becoming politicised.

Late Wednesday evening (25 March) the government announced new measures against the coronavirus. Movement between the county of Uusimaa, including the capital Helsinki, and the rest of the country will be restricted to a minimum.

The order is planned to come into effect on Friday and will last at least until 19 April.

Crossing the county line will only be permitted for those not able to work at home and for those with strong personal reasons such as the death of their next of kin. Fines will be imposed to force restrictions. Most public transport will stop, but goods will still be transported, leaving the police and the army responsible for surveillance. 

The number of corona infections in Finland is quickly approaching the 1,000-mark. As of Thursday (26 March), there were 958 confirmed COVID-19 cases and five deaths.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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