Saturday 10/23/21
EPIDEMIC

Covid-19 incidence soars among Finnish children and adolescents

Health authorities say infections are not occurring in schools but in homes.
A child takes a nose swab for himself for a coronavirus test at Chabarovice primary school. The Czech government has decided that primary one pupils will return to the classrooms in a rotating format, with only half of the pupils in the classrooms. Photo: Hájek Ondøej/CTK/dpa
A child takes a nose swab for himself for a coronavirus test at a primary school in the Czech Republic. Photo: Hájek Ondøej/dpa.

Finland looks to an improvement in the numbers of Covid-19 infections and the loosening of restrictions.

However, some recent signs show that the epidemic is far from under control, according to the latest monitoring report released by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

A crucial difference from previous reports is that the latest official assessment notes that during the last monitored week, the highest incidence of infections occurred among "children and young people."

Until now, the highest incidence had been recorded among young adults of working age.

"Between 5 and 11 April, the incidence rate was highest among 10–19-year-olds," the official report says without specifying the data further.

The health authorities deny that this high transmission of the virus among children and adolescents occurred in schools. And they point to "homes" and "other social contacts" as the source of the problem.

"Most of the infections in this age group have been traced back to home or other social contacts," the report emphasizes.

The incidence rate was also high among 20–29 and 30–39-year-olds.

Overall weekly decline

Despite this high incidence of infections in some age groups, the latest monitoring report released by the health authorities shows that the number of new cases has "noticeably decreased" in recent weeks.

Between 5 and 11 April, slightly over 2,500 new coronavirus infections were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of nearly 750 cases from the previous week. The incidence of new cases was 45 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the previous week it was 59.

The total number of new cases in the last two-week period was more than 5,700, which was about 1,600 cases fewer than in the preceding two-week period. The incidence of new cases was 104 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in the preceding two-week period it was 160.

Infections contracted abroad

Between 5 and 11 April, the percentage of cases where the virus was contracted abroad was also slightly higher than before. These cases accounted for 4.4% of all new cases.

The number of people requiring hospitalizations and intensive care due to Covid-19 has also decreased noticeably in the past three weeks.

On Thursday 15 April, there were 161 patients in Finnish hospitals, of which 37 were in intensive care.

The need for hospital is expected to decrease further in the coming weeks.

Finland has so far reported 83,253 coronavirus infections and 885 deaths associated with the Covid-19 virus.

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