Finland’s biggest hospital system reaches a milestone as the last Covid-19 patient is discharged from intensive care over the weekend.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL says there are currently no coronavirus patients being treated in intensive care.
The Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District – the largest in Finland – says their last patient was well enough to be transferred out of ICU to another ward over the weekend, meaning that for the first time since the start of the epidemic there are no coronavirus patients in HUS intensive care beds – or other hospital districts around the country.
At the peak of the outbreak 46 patients were in HUS intensive care wards alone.
“This is a good reflection of the current coronavirus disease situation in Finland” says Asko Järvinen, Chief Physician of Infectious Diseases at HUS.
“The number of new cases has been low, but new virual infections are still being diagnosed” he adds.
Healthcare staff have been emphasizing that continued caution needs to be taken to avoid a rise in coronavirus cases, or any second wave of the epidemic.
“Hands should be washed, avoid crowds and keep a sufficient distance from other people. Those with coronavirus symptoms should go for a test and should not move among other people when they are ill” says Järvinen.
Testing available throughout the summer
Hospitals are reminding people that there is still a risk of catching coronavirus during the summer and that people with symptoms should go and get tested.
A number of drive-thru testing centres are also remaining open during summer, despite the current reduced demand for services.
The threshold for testing in Finland is low, and HUS says anyone with even one of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell; or diarrhea or abdominal pain for no apparent reason, qualifies for a test.
In the first instance, people should contact their municipality’s coronavirus helpline, or a local health centre. At other times people can call emergency services on 116 117 for immediate information.