On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the covid-19 epidemic caused by the coronavirus a pandemic. Serious covid-19 was included among the generally hazardous communicable diseases as defined in the Communicable Diseases Act and based on this act, a physician in a public service employment relationship either with the municipality or joint municipal authority for hospital district is authorised to restrict a citizen’s freedom and order a person to quarantine, should the disease be diagnosed. Penalties shall be imposed for non-compliance with the order. On 16 March 2020, the Finnish Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, decided that during the current state of emergency the population must be protected and the functioning of society safeguarded, with special emphasis on the health care providers’ ability to respond to the need of medical care during the outbreak.
In Finland, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health guides preparedness for the health care providers. Every citizen and person staying in Finland shall, for their part, support the aims of the Finnish Government to stop coronavirus infections from spreading and protect vulnerable people including senior citizens and persons of any age who have underlying medical conditions.
Under the Communicable Diseases Act, the Finnish Government instructed the Regional State Administrative Authorities to limit social contacts by arranging distance learning for pupils and students and prohibit public gatherings of more than ten persons. Also the library, swimming pool and other sports facilities will be closed for the time being. For the sake of public health and health security, Finland’s borders were closed temporarily as of 19 March 2020 and passengers returning from abroad will be placed in quarantine for 14 days. All travel shall be avoided.
1. Avoid all contacts outside your home.
2. COVID-19 coronavirus is easily destroyed in unfavourable conditions. Normal detergents and disinfectants, e.g. chlorine, facilitate die-off of coronaviruses. Its ability to survive in high temperatures, high or low pH and sunlight is poor. Most importantly, ensure careful hand hygiene, keep your hands clean, avoid touching your face and adopt the correct cough etiquette. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) instruction
3. The national telephone service 0295 535 535 and chat you can get general information about the coronavirus on weekdays between 8:00 and 21:00 and on Saturdays between 9:00 and 15:00.
4. Omaolo test (in Finnish) helps you to assess your health status. After filling out the symptoms assessment form, remember to check the instructions in your municipality or region.
5. If, despite of all precautions, you have symptoms of the disease (fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, head ache), call Länsi-Pohja District Corona Advice Centre, tel. 040 825 1072 for instructions.
Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (THL): Infektiotaudit ja rokotukset / Ajankohtaista koronasta
Institutet för hälsa och välfärd (THL): Infektionssjukdomar / Aktuellt om Coronaviruset COVID-19
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Infectious diseases / Coronavirus COVID-19
HELPLINE IN SWEDISH, Kristelefon,
enquiries, tel. 09 2525 0112
Monday, Wednesday 16:00-20:00 and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00-13:00.
HELPLINE IN ARABIC
enquiries, tel. 09 2525 0113
Monday, Tuesday 11:00-15:00, Wednesday 13:00-16:00 and 17:00-21:00 and Thursday 10:00-15:00
English-speakers, please call the Arabic helpline.
If calling from abroad, the number for instance for the helpline in Finnish is
+358 9 2525 0111.