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Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase— nearly 9,900 people placed in quarantine

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
12.8.2021 10.00 | Published in English on 12.8.2021 at 12.15
Press release 219/2021
Koronavirus

The number of new COVID-19 cases has increased slightly compared to the previous week. The total number of new cases reported between 2 and 8 August was 5,017, whereas a week before the number of new cases was 4,618.

Currently, the COVID-19 epidemic is spreading especially among unvaccinated young adults. 
Out of the administered 133,000 COVID-19 tests, the share of positive samples was 3.8 per cent. The incidence of new COVID-19 cases in the last two-week period (26 July–8 August) was 174 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the effective basic reproduction number is currently 1.35–1.40, with a 90 per cent probability. Last week, the share of infections from abroad was around 8 per cent. 

Between 2 and 8 August, a record number of 9,880 people were quarantined, which is over 1,500 people more than in the preceding week. A total of 23 per cent of the new cases were reported among people already in quarantine. This is about the same as between 19 and 25 July and between 26 July and 1 August. It is possible that the high number of people placed in quarantine will be reflected as an increase in the number of new cases next week.

The burden on primary healthcare remains high. Some regions have reported backlogs in contact tracing and delays in placing people in isolation and quarantine. There is also a lot of regional variation in how well contacts are traced. The source of infection was traced successfully in 54 per cent of all new cases in Finland. The backlogs reflect the increase in the number of infections and a shortage of personnel available for tracing. It is not always possible to receive all necessary information from infected and exposed persons about other potentially exposed persons.

Nearly 40 per cent of people in Finland are fully vaccinated

In Finland, around 68 per cent of the population have received at least their first vaccine dose and 39 per cent of the population have received a full COVID-19 vaccine course, i.e. they have received the second vaccine dose. Among those in need of hospital care in Finland, the number of young adults and unvaccinated patients is currently notable. The overall burden on specialised healthcare has reduced slightly, but the need for intensive care has increased compared to the situation a week before.

Based on the information provided by the hospital districts, a total of 83 people were receiving hospital care due to the COVID-19 disease on 11 August 2021. Of them, 14 were inpatients in primary healthcare, 50 inpatients in specialised healthcare and 19 inpatients in intensive care. 

The nature of the epidemic has changed. The disease is currently spreading especially among unvaccinated young people and young adults. Thanks to increasing vaccine coverage, the worsening epidemiological situation and the growing number of infections have not, however, directly led to an increase in the need for hospital care in the same way as during the peaks of the epidemic in autumn 2020 or spring 2021. Then the majority of the population were still unvaccinated. The increasing number of cases does, however, place a considerable burden on primary healthcare, and it is reflected as an insufficient number of personnel and in the organisation of continued treatment for patients requiring specialised healthcare

A full vaccine course, i.e. two vaccine doses, provides good protection against COVID-19 and its more serious forms as well as COVID-19 variants. The high vaccine coverage of the population effectively reduces the number of patients requiring hospital care, thus reducing the risk of overburdening the healthcare system. For this reason, it is very important that people get vaccinated when it is their turn so that we can avoid the serious effects of the epidemic, such as the increasing number of people requiring hospital care and the increasing number of deaths from COVID-19. 

On 11 August 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the epidemic was 995. 

The epidemiological situation is monitored weekly. A report on the epidemic is published on Thursdays at 10.00. 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:

Taneli Puumalainen, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] 

Pasi Pohjola, Director General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected] 

Otto Helve, Head of Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]

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