Finnish hospitals treat a record number of patients infected with coronavirus. Nationwide, the Covid ward had 821 patients on Wednesday and 30 in intensive care.
Minister of Family and Basic Services Who is Linden (SDP) told Yle that the numbers could rise to more than 1,000 in the coming weeks. Health authorities attribute the increase to the lifting of restrictions on bars, restaurants and public gatherings in early March.
At the same time, the number of new cases seems to be declining in southern Finland and the focus of the epidemic is shifting further north. In addition, the number of patients in intensive care is not increasing.
Lindén says the rise in hospitalizations did not come as a surprise. In Denmark, for example, with a population of about the same size, the number of Covid patients in hospitals rose from 900 to 1,700 when restrictions were lifted in early February.
"Personally, I do not think we will get to the Danish figures, because, on the other hand, it can be seen that the situation with regard to new infections is now leveling off." Lindén pointed out.
The analysis of municipal wastewater shows that the number of new infections may already be declining in southern Finland. Intensive care services are no longer in such high demand as last year. The number of serious cases requiring intensive care has decreased and is stable.
"We have learned to treat patients with coronavirus infection more effectively and the need for intensive care has decreased. Vaccinations alleviate the most serious form of the disease," says Lindén.
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Nevertheless, the number of Covid deaths has remained steadily high throughout the first half of the year. To date, there will be twice as many deaths in 2022 as in the first full year of the pandemic in 2020.
Despite these figures, Lindén considers the removal of restrictions to be the right move.
"The Omicron variant changed the situation because it is so hugely contagious. The government’s decision was influenced by the question of how much restrictions could be prevented from spreading," he explained.
Source: The Nordic Page