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Number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline – epidemic is currently winding down

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
29.4.2021 10.00 | Published in English on 29.4.2021 at 10.30
Press release 115/2021

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to decline, which indicates that the epidemic is currently winding down in Finland. The restrictions and recommendations have clearly been effective and prevented infections. As the spring progresses, vaccinations and seasonal variation will begin to contribute to the positive development of the epidemic. The fact that people have complied with the recommendations and restrictions in a commendable manner has also helped ease the epidemic.

That said, the number of COVID-19 infections remains high enough that the situation may deteriorate rapidly again if contacts between people increase significantly and the virus is able to spread more freely in the population.

There are still major differences in the development of the epidemic between hospital districts. Southern and southwestern Finland are still the worst affected areas. However, the incidence of new cases has declined in most hospital districts.

On Tuesday 27 April, the Government declared that the current situation no longer constitutes a state of emergency under the Emergency Powers Act due to the improved epidemic situation.

Number of people placed in quarantine has remained at same level after long decline 

Between 19 and 25 April, the source of infection was traced in more than 70 per cent of all new cases of domestic origin. The success rate for contact tracing was thus at the same level as the week before. Around 27 per cent of new cases were reported among people already in quarantine. The percentage of people in quarantine of all cases has decreased since the previous week, when it stood at 40 per cent. Between 19 and 25 April, a total of 6,528 persons were quarantined, which is approximately the same number as in the previous week.

Between 19 and 25 April, over 1,600 new cases were reported to the communicable diseases register, showing a decrease of around 300 cases from the previous week. The number of new cases was 67 per cent lower between 19 and 25 April than between 8 and 14 March, when the number of cases was highest during the entire epidemic (over 4,900 cases). The incidence of new cases was 29 per 100,000 inhabitants between 19 and 25 April, while in the previous week it was 35.

The total number of new cases reported in the last two-week period was more than 3,500, which is over 2,200 cases fewer than in the preceding two-week period. The incidence of new cases was 64 per 100,000 inhabitants from 12 to 25 April, while in the preceding two-week period it was 105.

Currently, the estimated basic reproduction number is 0.70–0.90, with a 90 per cent probability, which means that it has remained below one since 7 April.

More than 115,000 COVID-19 tests were taken between 19 and 25 April. The number of tests is still high in relation to the population, although the number of samples taken has been on a slight decline since mid-March. During the same period, the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases of all samples taken has also declined, standing at approximately 1.4 per cent between 19 and 25 April. Since early spring, exposed persons have been tested with a lower threshold than before, which partly explains the decline in the percentage of positive cases.

Rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations is progressing well in all catchment areas 

In Finland, 88 per cent of people aged 70 years or older and 57 per cent of people aged 50 years or older have already received their first vaccine dose. All people in risk groups are expected to have received their first dose by mid-May and all those over 16 who wish to do so by the end of July.

Vaccines are estimated to have reduced the need for hospital care. The number of patients in hospital care was highest before Easter, between 22 March and 4 April. Compared to this, the total number of patients in hospital care has reduced by half, but the rate of decline has slowed down. 

On Wednesday 28 April, there were 33 patients in intensive care. The number of inpatients in primary healthcare was 36 and the number of inpatients in specialised healthcare was 64. The total number of COVID-19 inpatients was 133. The need for hospital care is expected to decrease further over the next week.

Further information on intensive care and its results is available in the report of the National coordinating office for intensive care: 

On 28 April 2021, the total number of deaths related to the disease was 911.

The monitoring report on the epidemic published today and the previous reports are available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. 

Inquiries:

Otto Helve, Chief Physician, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] (development of the epidemic)
Kari Auranen, Senior Researcher, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] (projection models)
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (situational picture and modelling group)
Pasi Pohjola, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] (situational picture and modelling group)

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