Wednesday 9/22/21

30 coronavirus infections detected in refugee reception centers

Migri complains about "a shortage of protective equipment" at the reception centers.

Asylum seekers at the Turkish-Syrian border. Photo: Tülin Çetinkol.

Coronavirus infections continue to spread and affect everyone, regardless of their social status. Even asylum seekers, one of the most vulnerable groups in society, have been hit by this global pandemic.

In Finland, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) reported on Tuesday that so far 30 Covid-19 infections have been diagnosed in reception centers for asylum seekers across the country. There are 40 reception centers throughout Finland, with 7,700 people registered and where 4,400 people live. The disease was found in six of these facilities.

Migri also said most of those infections have been found in reception centers of the Uusimaa region (Helsinki metropolitan area). This region is by far the epicenter of the epidemic in Finland, with 192.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

On Tuesday, THL reported 45 new infections in the country, bringing the total number of cases in Finland to 4,740. Of them 3,243 have been diagnosed in the capital region.

More extensive testing

The infections in the temporary reception centers for refugees have prompted the health authorities to take action. At the Nihtisilla center in Espoo, doctors have decided to conduct more intensive testing in order to curb the epidemic.

"We are cooperating with (the company) Luona Oy, which is responsible for the center's operations, and with the health authorities in order to deal with the situation," said Olli Snellman, from the Finnish Immigration Service.

According to Migri, at the reception centers, room and accommodation solutions have been designed for quarantine and isolation situations. Transfers of asylum seekers from one center to another have been minimized during the epidemic.

Reception centers have been asked to provide the necessary protective equipment to their customers and employees. "However, there is still a shortage of protective equipment and the acquisition of equipment should be actively pursued," Migri said in a press release.