After months of steady decline, Covid cases in Finland have started to rise again last week.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is likely to have spread in Finland as well, after hundreds of football fans returning from Russia were released without a Covid test last week, says the professor of virology Ilkka Julkunen.
According to THL, so far about 300 Finnish football tourists have received a positive Covid-19 test after their return.
The Delta variant, previously referred to as the Indian variant, is more contagious than previous strains and is very common in Russia.
“The Delta variant spreads more easily and is likely to take over other virus strains, such as in the UK,” Julkunen told Yle TV1’s breakfast news program.
Finland must prevent the spread of the epidemic further, Markku Mäkijärvi, Chief Physician of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).
Both experts brought recent appeals from authorities and authorities to football tourists to look for Covid tests and encouraged them to practice social distance as well as use face masks in public.
Delta threat in the HUS area
Many of the new cases imported from Russia were diagnosed in the HUS area. On Tuesday, a total of 222 new cases were reported at HUS among people who returned from or were with Russia, while 783 people have been quarantined.
“These figures are growing even more because not all infections have yet been traced in the municipalities,” Mäkijärvi said in a statement issued by HUS on Tuesday.
Health officials were increasingly concerned about the sudden deterioration of the country’s epidemic at the end of last week.
Dozens of former infection chain touch marks were called back to work in an effort to curb new infection chains caused by untested border crossers. Currently, more than 100 infection chain surveillance companies are working in Finland.
Head of Epidemiology, Department of Social Affairs and Health, City of Helsinki, Sanna Isosomppi, said the follow-up went well, but the work is difficult because of the lack of information in the passenger lists of the bus.
In addition, people who receive calls from contact trackers often do not answer the phone on the first attempt until they are sent a text message explaining what the call was about. Reaching people by phone was especially slow last week in Helsinki, Isosomppi explained.
However, the most important measure in continuing the fight against the spread of the virus is to limit the number of people with whom we are in contact, Isosomppi added. This is especially true in the current situation, as the Delta variant is much more likely to spread than other known variants.
Don’t cancel plans, use common sense
Julkunen said that the epidemic situation in Finland was improved by the country’s vaccination coverage, as about 60 percent of the Finnish population over the age of 16 have received at least one of two doses of Covid vaccine.
“Two doses of the vaccine also provide pretty good immune protection against the Delta variant,” Julkunen said.
At the same time, despite the cases brought from the east, HUS’s chief physician Mäkijärvi also said that the Covid situation in Finland was good in the bigger picture.
“Your summer vacation doesn’t have to be canceled, but we need to act sensibly and responsibly despite having summer and vacation time,” he said.
Health officials and officials have continued to urge returnees from Russia – as well as individuals with whom they have been in contact – to test for coronavirus infections, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID.