The Malmi Health Station

Helsinki residents very diligent about testing for coronavirus

The week before last, 2,843 coronavirus tests were taken in Helsinki. This marked the fourth-busiest week of the coronavirus period. The last week was also busy.

Compared to the spring, the coronavirus situation has been calm. The week before last, 17 Helsinki residents were diagnosed with an infection, and the majority of the cases were found on the first days of the week. Since then, only a single new infection case has been found per day, if any.

“It has been great to see that people are taking the test readily and responsibly. However, it appears that this is not motivated by the coronavirus, but rather by other respiratory diseases and some instances of hay fever. Coronavirus may cause a variety of symptoms and resemble other diseases in the early stages. This means that no test is unnecessary,” comments Medical Director of Health Stations Timo Lukkarinen.

“Of course, even more important than taking tests is preventing coronavirus infections by all possible means in everyday life, and in the summer as well. Additionally, it is important to remember that a negative test result does not rule out the possibility of an infection. Anyone with symptoms must stay home and avoid all contact with other people,” Lukkarinen adds.

Almost 40,000 coronavirus tests have been taken in Helsinki over the course of the entire spring and early summer.

The omaolo.fi symptom questionnaire has been very popular

Helsinki residents have also been diligently using the omaolo.fi online service, in which they can fill out a symptom questionnaire and, if necessary, book a test appointment. The number of visitors on omaolo.fi has increased lately. Last week, more than 150 customers per day booked a test appointment based on the symptom questionnaire.

In addition to omaolo.fi, Helsinki residents are served on weekdays by the coronavirus helpline, tel. 09 310 10024, and at other times by the Medical Helpline, tel. 116 117. If necessary, both omaolo.fi and the coronavirus helpline instruct customers to book a test appointment. Tests can be taken at the drive-in points in Meilahti and Malmi, as well as Stoa in Itäkeskus.

“Helsinki’s own additional sample point in Malmi, which was opened the week before last, has been received well. Next, we will open a point in Northwest Helsinki in order to make testing easy in the entire Helsinki region. The sampling capacity has been sufficient, and we will increase it if needed. We are very closely monitoring how the situation develops,” says Director of Health and Substance Abuse Services Leena Turpeinen.

Picture: Antti Pulkkinen / City of Helsinki's material bank