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Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Number of COVID-19 cases doubled largely due to fans returning from Euro 2020 matches

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
8.7.2021 10.00 | Published in English on 8.7.2021 at 14.00
Press release 197/2021

A total of 1,282 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Finland between 28 June and 4 July. During the previous week the corresponding figure was around 960. The number of new cases has doubled compared to the preceding two-week period: during the past two weeks, the number of new cases totalled 2,240, while in the preceding two-week period, it was 1,093. The weekly number of COVID-19 cases was at its lowest in week 24 (between 14 and 20 June), totalling around 530. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is largely due to football fans returning from Russia after attending UEFA European Championship matches.

The resulting infections have been largely traced and necessary people quarantined. By 6 July, hospital districts have reported to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare of 481 cases related to the Euro 2020 matches, with 165 further infections. The majority of the new cases have been reported in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. In week 25, more than 40 per cent of the reported infections were directly linked to the UEFA European Championship matches, while in week 26, the corresponding share was 15 cent cent.

Increase in the number of tests

Between 28 June and 4 July, about 97,000 tests were taken, which is around 26,500 tests more than the week before. Over the past two weeks, the number of positive COVID-19 tests has been higher than during the first half of June (1.4% between 21 and 27 June and 1.3% between 28 June and 4 July). 

Epidemiological situation has deteriorated in certain areas 

The epidemiological situation has deteriorated in certain areas. In addition to the Euro 2020 tourism, the increase in the number of infections can be explained by increased travel abroad and border traffic, and the deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Russia. There are also local COVID-19 clusters and infections resulting from social contacts.

In certain areas, infections are found especially among seasonal workers. As seasonal workers often work in their own teams and their work arrangements are carefully instructed, the cases have not resulted in large-scale transmission chains. 

In line with the previous weeks, the highest incidence was among 20–29-year-olds.

Need for intensive care remains unchanged

Based on the information provided by the hospital districts, a total of 44 people were receiving hospital care due to the COVID-19 disease on 7 July 2021. Of them, 7 were inpatients in primary healthcare, 30 inpatients in specialised healthcare and 7 inpatients in intensive care. On 7 July 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 976.
 
According to reporting by intensive care units, there were eight new COVID-19 periods in intensive care between 28 June and 4 July. Compared to last week, the need for intensive care has remained almost unchanged.

In Finland, about 61 per cent of the population have received at least their first vaccine dose and 21 per cent their second dose.

Recommendation: Avoid all travel to Russia

Cases where the virus was contracted abroad has stabilised but remains significant: between 21 and 27 July, half (50%) of the cases originated from abroad and between 28 June and 4 July their proportion was one in every four cases (24%). The further infections resulting from them accounted for 9 per cent of all cases between 28 June and 4 July.

Due to the new virus variants and significantly deteriorated COVID-19 situation in Russia, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare recommends that all travel to Russia be avoided. In all travel abroad, it necessary to use discretion, follow the development of the epidemic in the destination country and comply with the guidelines from authorities when returning home.

Further information: 

Weekly situation report available also in July

The development of the epidemic will be monitored throughout the summer. 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, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Mika Salminen, Director, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected]
Simopekka Vänskä, Senior Researcher, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, [email protected] 

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