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Inter-authority cooperation takes several steps to restrict coronavirus infection

Five cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. We have tracked those who have been exposed to the infection and about 150 people have been put in home quarantine.

The City of Helsinki has opened a coronavirus telephone help line for Helsinki residents on Monday 2 March 2020. The number is 09 310 10024 and the service is open Monday to Friday 7 am to 8 pm.

Five coronavirus infections in total have been confirmed at HUS Helsinki University Hospital. Two of the infections confirmed during the weekend are associated with the case confirmed on Friday and one with the case confirmed on Wednesday. Three of the persons infected are working-age women, one is a man of retirement age and one a school-aged child. They are all feeling well. The ones confirmed with the infection during the weekend returned home after the sampling. The two exposed to the infection through the infection case confirmed on Wednesday have been placed in home quarantine. The person confirmed to be infected on Friday has exposed 15 people to the infection. These 15 people have been reached and placed in home quarantine. Nobody has been exposed through the man of retirement age.

During the weekend, a school-aged child was confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. Experts at The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), HUS and the City of Helsinki made a decision on Sunday 1 March 2020 to place 100 pupils from grades 6A, 6B, 6C and 4B at the Viikki Teacher Training School of the University of Helsinki as well as their teachers and a school assistant in home quarantine for two weeks. Furthermore, HJK’s junior football team, the P07 blue team, which the infected child practised with, is placed in home quarantine. The school pupils’ parents have been notified by a Wilma message and the families of the football team players have been contacted. The family members are not placed in quarantine, since they have not been in close contact with the child infected with the coronavirus. They can continue living and moving as normal.

An official decision will be delivered to the people placed in quarantine, according to which a guardian can stay home and take care of their child under 16 if need be, even if the child is healthy. The decision is based on the Communicable Diseases Act.

According to the risk assessment done by healthcare experts, the risk of infection is low since the symptoms of the child infected with the coronavirus were mild. Other students and staff at the school are not considered exposed. Neither are other football teams.

The goal is to prevent or slow down the epidemic

There is currently not an epidemic in Finland. All the close contacts of the confirmed cases are known and the chains of transmission are under control. The goal of the authorities’ actions is to prevent or at least slow down the epidemic, since other ongoing respiratory infections are putting a strain on healthcare right now. The epidemic can be prevented and slowed down through testing persons who meet the criteria as well as through tracking those exposed and placing them in home quarantine.

The City of Helsinki has established a group to coordinate the coronavirus situation at the municipal level and increased preparedness of the Social Services and Health Care Division and the Education Division. The group is responsible for managing the measures at the municipal level and cooperating with, among others, HUS and THL.

The City of Helsinki has opened a coronavirus telephone help line for Helsinki residents on Monday 2 March 2020. The number is 09 310 10024 and the service is open Monday to Friday 7 am to 8 pm.

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Text HUS

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