Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has rejected the view that restrictions on limiting the spread of the new coronavirus have been lifted prematurely in Finland.
Kirsi Varhila, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, said on Wednesday that the government should have refrained from lifting restrictions on the current scale, at least until the target of vaccinating 80 per cent of people over 12 has been reached.
“We officials were of the strong opinion that the restrictions might not have been lifted to this extent,” he said. commented To YLE.
The concerns stem from an increase in the number of people with coronavirus infection and in intensive care.
Restrictions were lifted last weekend, with the exception of restrictions on restaurants in the epidemic range. According to the THL, about 72.5 percent of people over the age of 12 and 63.5 percent of the total population had received both vaccines by Thursday.
“We didn’t deregulate society too early,” Marin calculated on Thursday. “Some of our restrictions are still in place and will be lifted when we hopefully reach 80 percent vaccination coverage later this month.”
He recalled that restrictions on restaurants have been defined on the basis of proposals from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Marin also urged anyone who has not yet received both doses of the vaccine, stressing that vaccination is a responsible decision that will protect not only you but your loved ones and society as a whole. He added that Finland cannot afford to burden unvaccinated people with the health care system.
However, the government does not intend to make vaccinations mandatory. “We haven’t prepared mandatory vaccinations,” he said.
The prime minister said the government will continue to lift restrictions in line with its hybrid strategy. However, regionally, it may be necessary to reintroduce restrictions in response to increased infections or inadequate health care capacity.
“It’s possible, and it’s in line with our strategy. Should areas see such groups of infections or locally the health care system would be under such stress, it would be responsible [regional] authorities to use the tools provided by the Communicable Diseases Act, ”he commented.
Vaccine use in the country is currently below the European Union average. Marin felt this was the result of a long time between injecting the two vaccines.
“It partly explains why we haven’t yet reached 80 percent for two injections. But I would say we’ll get there in a couple of weeks, ”he confirmed. “Hopefully we can get rid of all the restrictions in a couple of weeks.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT