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Coronavirus testing process to be accelerated and made more efficient in the autumn – aim to get people tested within 24 hours

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 19.8.2020 18.13
Press release 186/2020

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has updated its coronavirus testing strategy. Several measures will be taken in the autumn to accelerate the coronavirus testing process and make it more efficient in order to tackle the spread of the virus in Finland as effectively as possible. 

According to the updated testing strategy, the goal is for people to be able to get tested within 24 hours and receive their results within 24 hours. The key measures to reach the goal are recruiting more personnel, internal arrangements, developing new testing models and ensuring close cooperation between public and private regional service producers. 

Where possible, rapid tests should also be used and processes should be developed in order to facilitate testing. A further aim is to strengthen cooperation between public and private healthcare providers. 

More testing capacity needed once the autumn flu season begins

The current testing capacity is already more than 14,000 samples a day and the maximum daily numbers of tests have been more than 10,000. In preparing for the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, the aim is to increase the capacity to 20,000 samples a day during the autumn. Measures related increasing testing capacity will be prepared in cooperation with laboratories and other service system operators. 

In addition to sampling and analysis, sufficient tracing resources must be provided to break transmission chains. The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare supports coordinating the tracing of transmission chains at the national level. In addition, the mobile application “Koronavilkku” to be introduced in September will improve traceability. 

Another aim is to further improve and streamline the operational processes of quarantine decisions in order to prevent further infections.

The testing criteria will be updated as necessary. This will ensure sufficiently extensive and appropriate testing in order to prevent new infections. In future, testing will be carried out and expanded based on risk, for example through targeted testing. 

The main testing principle continues to be test, trace, isolate and treat. Testing is a package that includes assessing the risk of infection, sample taking and analysis, and the necessary further measures.

Inquiries

Pasi Pohjola, Director
Anni Virolainen-Julkunen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Medical Affairs


 

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