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Global Times

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Finland top 5,000, death toll at 218

Global Times

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/5/2 15:54:35

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Finland has passed the 5,000 mark, said Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Friday.

The total number of cases reached 5,051, after 56 new cases were recorded in the previous day. The death toll rose to 218, up seven from Thursday.

According to THL, the average age of those who have died is 84 years old, and more than 90 percent of the deceased have at least one chronic illness. Some 3,000 people have recovered from the disease.

The number of patients in hospital, meanwhile, has been falling steadily since April 7. According to THL, 185 patients are now in hospital, of which 48 are in intensive care.

As the peak of epidemic in the country has likely passed away with declined numbers both in the daily confirmed cases and in hospitalized patients, the government plans to re-evaluate its COVID-19 measures and adopt a hybrid strategy.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin told media earlier that the strategy would see Finland gradually scaling back the restrictive measures while further increasing testing.

The first step of the strategy is to reopen schools. Finland's public schools have switched to remote learning since March 18, when the government declared a state of emergency over COVID-19. On Wednesday, the government announced the move to reopen primary and lower secondary schools from May 14.

Marin said any decisions on extending current emergency measures would not be taken until May 3. This is also when the government will issue any further guidance on public gatherings.

As for the issue of reopening borders, the prime minister said that EU-level guidance was needed.

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