Government strengthens its management of COVID-19
On Monday 30 March, the Government decided to reorganise the management of the coronavirus crisis at the central government level. The COVID-19 coordination group has been expanded and the organisation for the management of emergency conditions within the Prime Minister’s Office has also been strengthened.
The Government set up a COVID-19 coordination group in February. The group initially consisted of the Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Preparedness of the ministries responsible for handling the COVID-19 situation (the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport and Communications).
The coronavirus situation in Finland has changed rapidly since February, and the Government has taken significant measures to slow down the progression of the disease and limit the spread of the epidemic.
As a result, the COVID-19 coordination group has now been expanded to include the Permanent Secretaries of all ministries. The group also comprises Director of Government Security Ahti Kurvinen, Director of Government Communications Päivi Anttikoski, Head of Unit Heikki Hovi and Director of the National Institute for Health and Welfare Mika Salminen. The group is chaired by Mikko Koskinen, State Secretary to the Prime Minister. It will continue to meet at least twice a week.
The task of the coordination group is to implement the decisions made by the Government to curb the coronavirus epidemic and to coordinate cooperation between the ministries.
The coordination group is supported by the ministries’ Heads of Preparedness and Preparedness Secretaries, who are responsible for operational activities and cooperation. Both forums are permanent groups, but they are now focused particularly on dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Government Situation Centre is a permanent function in the Prime Minister’s Office, but its monitoring of the situational picture has been harnessed to a large extent to monitor the coronavirus situation. The Situation Centre is in charge of maintaining the situational picture and communicating it to the President of the Republic, the Government and other authorities as appropriate.
In addition, an Operations Centre has been set up under the Prime Minister’s Office to maintain an overall picture of the progress made in implementing the Government’s decisions. The centre is led by Head of Unit Heikki Hovi. The Operations Centre monitors and observes the measures taken and focuses on reporting any deficiencies.
The coordination of communications has been strengthened and is being managed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
A separate crisis follow-up group is also being set up to prepare for the post-crisis period.
Inquiries: Mikko Koskinen, State Secretary, tel. +358 9 50 329 2006 and Päivi Anttikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 536 4821, Prime Minister’s Office