In Finland, the focus of testing is shifted to preventing the spread in risk groups

In Finland, the focus of testing is shifted to preventing the spread in risk groups

Testing resources are thus increasingly targeted at individuals with severe symptoms, at-risk individuals with symptoms, pregnant women, and social and health care professionals. Where local testing capacity allows, tests may also be performed on others with a coronavirus respiratory infection.

The goal is for anyone who meets the criteria to have access to testing within 24 hours.

The Department of Social Affairs and Health explained that current testing volumes tie up health care resources to the extent that it is unrealistic to raise them to test for anyone experiencing symptoms or coming into contact with the virus.

Contact tracing resources, in turn, should be directed to clients, patients, and social and health care staff to break the chains of infection in the environments of people prone to the virus.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health emphasized that those who develop symptoms should voluntarily reduce contact with others and possibly use a home test as a basis for voluntary quarantine.

Confirmed people must continue to isolate themselves and follow both national and regional guidelines.

A national testing and contact tracing strategy is recommended. It is therefore possible to deviate from its provisions by a decision of the communicable disease officer of the municipality or hospital district.

The update is roughly in line with the recommendations issued in January by the municipalities in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

Department of Health and Welfare (THL) on Thursday kellui a list of changes to the vaccination strategy, according to which the prevention of severe forms of disease, death and loss of life years should be a priority of the strategy. Although vaccines still provide good and long-term protection against severe forms of the disease, including omicron, protection against infection and mild forms of the disease begins to decline within months of the second and third injections.

“With the spread of omicron, the role of coronavirus vaccines in controlling infections and chains of infection at the population level has diminished,” it said in a statement on the need to update the strategy.

THL confirmed that it does not believe that the main goal of the strategy should be to reduce the incidence of infections, as current vaccines are relatively ineffective in this regard. However, at the end of last year, when updating the strategy, the Finnish government stated that the aim should be not only to prevent serious forms of the disease but also to reduce infections and morbidity.

THL also estimates that the obligation for social and health care staff to vaccinate is still medically justified for the safety of customers and patients, as the risk of infection is lower for those vaccinated at the individual level.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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