Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
COVID-19 epidemic stabilising, need for hospital care still high
Koronaepidemia on tasaantunut parin viimeisen viikon aikana. Sairaalahoidon tarve on pysynyt tasaisen korkealla tasolla ja tehohoidon kuormitus samalla tasolla kuin viime viikolla. Kolmansien rokoteannosten ottamista suositellaan kaikille 18 vuotta täyttäneille, mutta erityisen tärkeää se on riskiryhmille ja 60 vuotta täyttäneille. Rajoitusten keventyessä korostuvat ihmisten omaehtoiset toimet tartuntojen leviämisen estämiseksi.
The COVID-19 epidemic has stabilised over the past few weeks. The need for hospital care has remained at a high but stable level and the burden on intensive care at the same level as the week before. It is recommended that everyone aged 18 years or over takes a third vaccine dose, but it is particularly important that people aged 60 or over and those belong to risk groups get a third dose. As the restrictions are eased, the focus will be on people’s own measures to prevent the spread of infections.
On 16 February, there were 359 inpatients in specialised healthcare, which is slightly more than a week ago. On 16 February, the total number of patients in intensive care was 30, which is the same as the week before. Between 7 and 13 February, 32 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care, while in the previous week this number was 29. An estimated 28 per cent of all COVID-19 patients on ordinary wards in specialised healthcare were admitted for some other reason than COVID-19. The percentage was 27 for intensive care. These percentages increased slightly from last week.
Assessing the spread of the epidemic involves a considerable degree of uncertainty. Currently, the estimated effective basic reproduction number is 0.95–1.15, with a 90 per cent probability. The overall level of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in Finland’s wastewater has, however, remained high. Based on the last five times when the levels of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in wastewater have been measured, it has become clear that the amount of genetic material in wastewater has started to decrease only in Helsinki whereas it has increased or remained stable in other areas. These results can be seen in the weekly report on wastewater monitoring to be published on Friday at 12.00.
On 16 February 2022, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 2,242. In the past two weeks (3–16 February), a total of 230 deaths were reported. In January 2022, people over 70 years of age accounted for 86 per cent of these deaths and people over 80 for 63 per cent of the deaths.
Vaccinations continue to provide effective protection against the most serious forms of COVID-19. It is particularly important that people aged 60 or over and those belonging to risk groups get a third vaccine dose. By 16 February, 88.7 per cent of people in Finland who are 18 years of age or over had received at least one vaccine dose, 86.1 per cent at least two vaccine doses and 59.6 per cent three vaccine doses. Over the past week (10–16 February), the uptake of the third vaccine dose among people aged 18 or over rose by approximately 1.2 percentage points. The increase in the uptake has slowed down: in the previous week, the uptake of the third dose rose by 3.1 percentage points. A fourth vaccine dose is recommended for those aged 12 or over who have a severely weakened immune system.
The means to combat the epidemic are targeted local and regional measures. As the restrictions are eased, the focus will be on people’s own measures to prevent the spread of infections, home testing, and as high a vaccination coverage as possible.
The epidemiological situation is monitored weekly. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare publishes the key monitoring information on the COVID-19 epidemic on its reporting website.
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Mirka-Tuulia Kuoksa, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Raimo Antila, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Otto Helve, Chief Physician, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
Mia Kontio, Chief Specialist, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
- Monitoring reports on the hybrid strategy (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), in Finnish and Swedish
- Progress with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), in Finnish and Swedish
- Situation update on coronavirus (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
- The COVID-19 epidemic: regional situation, recommendations and restrictions (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)
- Coronavirus cases, hospital treatment situation and deaths
- Coronavirus in numbers (Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa)
- Action plan for implementing the hybrid strategy to control the COVID-19 epidemic 2021–22 (Publications of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2021:30), description sheet in English
- Effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on wellbeing, services and the economy (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare), in Finnish
- Situation in intensive care: COVID-19 in intensive care (Kuopio University Hospital)