COVID-19

Second wave prevention

Helsingin Sanomat asks this morning what can be done to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus, especially as Finland begins reopening its borders with the outside world.

HS writes that the first wave of the virus largely arrived to Finland through holidaymakers, especially Finns returning home from ski resorts in northern Italy, who continued their daily lives after arriving home without any mandate to self-quarantine. Mistakes such as these must be avoided if Finland is to prevent, or at least limit, the effects of a second wave, HS writes.

Jari Jalava, a leading specialist at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), told HS that it was surprisingly rare for infections to spread on airplanes, but they usually do spread at destinations.

“Trying to avoid infections there is rule number one,” Jalava said. “There you have to follow the same instructions as here. In other words, emphasis is placed on good hand hygiene, keeping distance, avoiding contact with sick people.”

Jalava added that tourists from Finland should carefully consider the destinations to which they intend to travel, and plan how to avoid any risk of infection. Self-quarantine on the return home is still recommended, especially for those coming from countries with a more severe coronavirus situation.

“Quarantine is the best way to avoid the spread of infections here,” Jalava said.

HS writes that authorities in Finland feel they are better prepared for the second wave than they were for the first. Measures, such as the mandatory wearing of masks by Finavia employees, that have been introduced to Finnish airports since February, are intended help minimise the risk of the virus spreading again.

“If the second wave of the pandemic is similar to the first, we will already have adequate safety and hygiene arrangements in place,” Finavia’s Communications Manager Annika Kåla told HS.

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