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Coronavirus situation has changed – Tyrol in Austria and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany are now part of the epidemic area

3/10/2020 12:25 PM

The coronavirus situation has changed. The epidemic area currently covers mainland China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, and now also Tyrol in Austria and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

“The plan is to identify infections in travellers arriving from risk areas. Further infections can be reduced by studying the chains of infection and identifying people exposed to the virus”, says Director Mika Salminen.

The goal is to limit and slow down the start of an epidemic.

“The epidemic areas are reassessed on a daily basis. We may soon be facing a situation in which you can catch coronavirus in any European country”, Salminen says.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has updated its health care guidelines based on the new information. Rapid identification of cases is important so that measures can be taken to prevent other people from contracting the disease.

Instructions for those that have been in the epidemic areas

If you have travelled in the epidemic area and are experiencing sudden symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of leaving the region, do the following:

  • Always first contact the emergency clinic of your local hospital or health centre by phone. You will receive instructions on how to seek treatment.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing. Immediately put the used handkerchief in the rubbish bin.
  • If you don't have a handkerchief, cough or sneeze onto the upper part of the arm of your sweater, not into your hands.

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.

Further information:

Latest information on coronavirus COVID-19 on THL's website

Information about coronavirus situation on City of Rovaniemi website

Further information