COVID-19 ‘now everywhere’ in restriction-free Finland

In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases and related deaths have increased to their highest levels since the pandemic started, it was reported after the government’s working group meeting on Tuesday (22 March). [Shutterstock/Maridav]

COVID-19 is making a strong comeback in Finland, where all mandatory restrictions were recently lifted, and people believed the worst to be over.

In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases and related deaths have increased to their highest levels since the pandemic started, it was reported after the government’s working group meeting on Tuesday (22 March).

“Around 50% of tests taken are now positive. It means that there is a lot of virus in circulation. The virus is now everywhere,” Family and Social Services Minister Aki Lindén told Helsingin Sanomat in an interview.

“Just recently, we thought the worst was over, but now the number of patients is rising again. This is a diabolical situation,” Lindén added.

Infection rates for those aged 60 and over have doubled, he also said, adding that this foreshadows the growing pressure hospitals will face within a few weeks.

New restrictions are not on the table for now. However, people are reminded to continue wearing masks on public transport, avoid large gatherings and get a booster shot.

Possible strikes by healthcare professionals are putting pressure on the government to act. Tens of thousands of nurses are planning to strike from the start of April.

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