Number of COVID-19 cases and testing volumes are increasing and need for hospital care remains high
The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Finland. Approximately 7,200 new cases were reported between 15 and 21 November. At the end of October, over 4,000 cases were reported weekly, and during the latest reporting period, between 15 and 21 November, over 7,000 cases. This is over 3,000 cases more on a weekly level. The weekly number of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care has nearly tripled over the past three weeks.
The incidence of new COVID-19 cases over the last two-week period (8–21 November) was 237 per 100,000 inhabitants. The incidence of new cases in the previous 14 days was 133 per 100,000 inhabitants in mid-October, after which the incidence of new cases has kept growing.
The incidence of COVID-19 in children under the age of 12 has increased in recent weeks. It is, however, very rare that children under the age of 12 require hospital care, and no changes have been detected in this respect, although the number of infections has increased.
At the end of last week, the total number of patients in specialised healthcare was 156, of whom 112 were in inpatient care and 44 in intensive care. The burden on hospital care has been increasing over the last month. A total of 147 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to specialised healthcare between 15 and 21 November.
Over the past five weeks (18 October and 21 November), the weekly numbers of new COVID-19 inpatients in specialised healthcare have varied between 110 and 166. A total of 35 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care between 15 and 21 November. Between 8 and 14 November, the number of new intensive care patients was 31, and between 18 October and 7 November, the number varied between 14 and 22.
On 24 November 2021, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths reported to the communicable diseases register was 1,302.
The risk of being admitted to specialised healthcare is significantly higher for unvaccinated people than for those who have been vaccinated twice. Between August and October, unvaccinated people with COVID-19 were 19 times more likely to be admitted to specialised healthcare and 33 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care than vaccinated people.
On 24 November, 86.4 per cent of the target population for COVID-19 vaccination in Finland, i.e. people who are 12 years of age or over, had received at least one vaccine dose and 81.1 per cent two vaccine doses. On 24 November, a total of 203,023 people had received their third vaccine dose.
More than 113,200 COVID-19 tests were taken between 18 and 24 October. The number of people seeking testing has grown steadily in recent weeks. At the end of October, only about 80,700 tests were carried out weekly. The proportion of positive cases of all samples taken last week was 6.3 per cent, while in the previous two weeks, the proportion was 5.9 per cent, and at the end of October, 5.2 per cent.
The epidemiological situation is monitored weekly. The situational picture is updated weekly on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare under ‘Situation update on coronavirus’ . An extensive monitoring report is published on the Institute’s webpage ‘Monitoring reports on the hybrid strategy’ every other week on Thursday afternoons.
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