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Coronavirus infection now a risk in many countries – efforts being made to slow the start of the epidemic in Finland

3/12/2020 2:30 PM

The coronavirus epidemic situation in Europe and North America has been changing rapidly, and as a result the classification of countries and territories as epidemic areas will be abandoned. The risk of coronavirus infection has increased throughout Europe and around the world.

‘The aim is to continue to identify infections and to slow down the start of the epidemic in Finland. Rapid identification of cases is important in order to reduce the spread of the virus among the elderly and those with underlying conditions,’ says Director Mika Salminen from THL.

Secondary infections should still be prevented

The speed at which the epidemic develops will vary across the country.

‘Particularly in areas in Finland where there are no indications of wider transmission of the virus, secondary infections should continue to be reduced by investigating infection chains and mapping exposed persons,’ says Salminen.

In areas where there is evidence of the spread of the epidemic within communities, the focus should be on protecting risk groups. 

‘It is important for people with mild symptoms of the virus to see it through at home and to avoid social contact with others. Reducing social contact is also important for healthy people, as this slows down the spread of the epidemic. This can be promoted, for example, by working remotely and avoiding places where there are many people,’ Salminen adds.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is currently updating its communication materials and its instructions for health care professionals based on the new information. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus epidemic a pandemic on 11 March.

THL is monitoring and assessing the situation together with the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). THL will provide information and instructions as the situation develops:

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