Herttoniemi hospital.

The need for hospital care continues to grow - the Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends the continuing of premises restrictions

The number of coronavirus infections continues to rise throughout the Helsinki metropolitan area and the burden placed on hospital care is increasing. There are currently altogether 347 coronavirus patients in hospital care in HUS (Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa).

In all cities in the Helsinki metropolitan area, as well as in HUS, non-emergency care has had to be reduced in both specialist care and primary health care to ensure the care of coronavirus patients. The burden on primary health care is reflected in the congestion of specialist care when primary care facilities are full.

In general, the workload of all Social Services and Health Care services is high, as workers have had to be transferred to the most critical functions from other services extensively. Social Services and Health Care resources have been focused especially on vaccinations, treatment of coronavirus patients, and other urgent and necessary care and services.

There is still a need to significantly reduce contacts, especially between the adult population, in order to safeguard hospital capacity and other social and health care, and critical functions of society.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group recommends to the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland to extend the premises restrictions pursuant to Section 58 g of the Communicable Diseases Act after the current restrictions expire on 24 January.

It is recommended that the restrictive measures be extended for a further two weeks until 8 February.

The continuation of the restrictions is recommended for the following premises:

  • indoor facilities used for team sports, group exercise, contact sports and other similar sports or physical activities
  • gyms and other similar indoor sports facilities
  • public saunas, spas, swimming halls
  • dance venues and facilities for choral singing, amateur theatre or other premises for similar group activities
  • amusement and theme parks, fairs (circuses) and indoor facilities of zoos
  • indoor playparks and similar premises
  • public facilities in shopping centres.

The Metropolitan area coronavirus coordination group recommends that the new restrictions should not apply to guided recreational activities for children and young people born in 2003 or younger.

In addition, the group hopes that a solution will be found to enable special groups to exercise.

Restrictive measures shall be lifted as soon as they are no longer considered to be necessary. The development of the situation is carefully assessed on a daily basis.

The Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group prepares local decision-making

The Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, and the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland established the Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group on 10 September 2020. In line with a regional operating model devised by Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the group aims to strengthen the formation of a common situational assessment and to coordinate and prepare local and regional measures.

The group consists of top management from each member organisation and is responsible for the preparation and coordination of decision-making based on a shared assessment of the situation. Each member makes decisions independently, within its own sphere of authority. The group further intensifies the close metropolitan area collaboration that has continued throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The City of Helsinki is responsible for organising the group’s operations.

In addition to the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, the City of Kauniainen also follows the restrictions and recommendations of the coordination group.

Photo: Paavo Jantunen