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Number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospital care declining

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 5.5.2022 10.00 | Published in English on 5.5.2022 at 13.50
Press release 116/2022
koronavirus

The number of COVID-19 patients in specialised and primary healthcare started to decline in April. The results of wastewater monitoring also indicate a downward trend in the epidemic. A fourth vaccine dose is recommended for people aged 12 or over who have a severely weakened immune system, people aged 80 or over and all older people living in residential care homes.

Between 18 April and 1 May, a total of little over 600 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to specialised healthcare. Before the number of new COVID-19 patients started to decline in April, over 800 patients were admitted to care within a two-week period. The need for intensive care also started to fall after March. Between 18 April and 1 May, a total of 38 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care, while in the preceding two-week period the number was 58. On Wednesday 4 May 2022, over 40 per cent of COVID-19 patients in intensive care and other wards in specialised healthcare were being treated mainly for some other reason than COVID-19.

On Wednesday 4 May 2022, the total number of COVID-19 patients in primary healthcare was 471. Although the number of patients decreased clearly in April, the total number is still high. On Wednesday 4 May, about 40 per cent of all COVID-19 patients in primary healthcare were being treated mainly for some other reason than COVID-19.

On Sunday 1 May 2022, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register stood at 4,063. In the past two weeks (18 April–1 May), a total of 474 deaths were reported, while in the preceding two-week period the figure was 337. The average age (median) of those who have died during the epidemic is 83 years. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen as infections have also spread widely among older people.

The estimated effective basic reproduction number is  0.75–0.85 with a 90 per cent probability. Last time (20 April), the number was 0.80–0.90. A value of below 1 indicates a downward trend in the epidemic. However, it is possible that the epidemic progresses at different speeds in different age groups. 

Based on the wastewater samples collected this (1–2 May 2022) and last week (24–25 April 2022), the overall levels of coronavirus RNA in Finland’s wastewater have remained high. However, based on the last five times when the levels of coronavirus RNA in wastewater were measured, the levels have started to decrease at the national level. 

In Finland, over 87 per cent of people who are 18 years of age or over have received at least two vaccine doses and 64 per cent three vaccine doses. Over 86 per cent of those aged 60 or over have received three vaccine doses, and 52 per cent of those aged 80 or over have received their fourth vaccine dose. Vaccinations continue to provide effective protection against the more serious forms of the disease. A fourth vaccine dose is recommended for people aged 12 or over who have a severely weakened immune system, people aged 80 or over and all older people living in residential care homes.  As of 5 May 2022, a fourth vaccine dose is also recommended for older people who receive home care or informal care and other older people whose health and functional capacity have deteriorated.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has compiled the key monitoring information on the COVID-19 epidemic on its website. 

Inquiries:

Tuija Kumpulainen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] 
Mika Salminen, Director, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] 
Mia Kontio, Chief Specialist, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] 

 
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