Sunday. 14.04.2024

The war of figures on what type of deaths are included or not in the list of fatalities caused by the Covid-19 has also reached Finland.

As reported on Friday by the National Broadcasting Company (Yle), the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district (HUS) says that deaths recorded at nursing homes have not been included in the statistics reported by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Until Friday 18 April, THL reported 82 deaths from coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) across the country, but according to HUS experts there could be dozens of more elderly deaths that have not been accounted for because they have happened outside of hospitals.

The Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district reported 20 deaths until Friday, 2 more than the previous day. But the city of Helsinki said on Friday 48 fatalities occurred at nursing homes only in the capital city. And if this happens in Helsinki, it could be the normal procedure in the whole country.

HUS chief medical director Markku Mäkijärvi and Helsinki hospital medical director Laura Pikkarainen said to their understanding the list of deaths included in THL's account lack dozens of cases.

Lowest death rate in Nordic countries

Where are the rest of the deceased? With what criteria have not been included in the statistics?

These are the questions asked now by many people in Finland, a country that officially has the lowest infection rate and number of deaths among its Nordic neighbors.

At the time of writing this article, Sweden had reported 13,261 infections and 1,400 death; Norway 6,937 and 161 deaths and Denmark 7,073 cases and 336 death, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

To date, Finland has reported 3,489 diagnosed-cases and 82 fatalities. And without having reached the peak of the pandemic, the Government allowed last week to lift some restrictions, for example the isolation of the region of Uusimaa.Infection-rate-by-country

Cases per 100,000 inhabitants on 17 April in Finland (Suomi), Norway (Norja), Sweden (Ruotsi), Denmark (Tanska) and Estonia (Viro).

HUS collecting data on nursing homes

The chief medical director Mäkijärvi  explains that so far, HUS has not been collecting figures on nursing home deaths. Municipalities have been gathering themselves this information, which is not being shared with hospital districts or made public.

For than reason, only fatalities recorded at local hospitals have been reported by THL.

"We are no correction the reporting, because it is important [to know] how many of these deaths are in senior care homes," he told to Yle.

According to him, THL will begin including nursing home coronavirus deaths from next week.

Dozens of coronavirus deaths in Finnish nursing homes unreported