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Covid patient admissions plunge as Finland avoids worst Easter predictions

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Doctors treat a patient at Kuopio University Hospital. Archive photo.

Image: Sakari Partanen / Kuopio University Hospital

The number of hospitalized Covid patients has significantly decreased in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).

HUS Chief Physician Markku Mäkijärvi said the news was like a ray of light on Easter weekend.

“Fortunately, there is good news out there,” Mäkijärvi said. “The number of hospital patients treated for Covid has clearly decreased. In HUS hospitals there were a total of 76 patients treated this morning, and 20 of them were in intensive care.”

As of March 31, 156 patients were still in the Corona wards and 30 in intensive care.

The decline in the use of Corona Warfare is a good sign, Mäkijärvi said.

“There are fewer critically ill patients now,” Mäkijärvi said. “Fewer patients need hospital treatment.”

This means more people are leaving Covid services than are admitted, and the burden on hospitals is decreasing as fewer critically ill patients show up for treatment.

Patients had been transferred to other hospitals as a precaution, so there would be room for any further increase in admissions at Covid.

HUS expected an increase in admissions at Easter.

“We are happy to be wrong,” Mäkijärvi said. “Each Covid service has additional capacity to welcome new patients.”

Infections go down, so do tests

Finland recorded 302 new Covid infections on Sunday.

Mäkijärvi says it’s hard to draw conclusions from a day’s numbers.

This is because there was less testing than usual. In the HUS region, there were around 5,000 tests on Saturday, about half the normal number.

“Of course, it is possible that the epidemic will go away, but that cannot be the reason for this big change,” Mäkijärvi said.

“The behavior around testing is more of an explanation.”

It is likely that there will be a spike in testing after Easter, if the previous holiday is a reliable indicator.

“The number of tests will definitely increase when people come back from their vacation,” Mäkijärvi said. “The amount of Covid we diagnose then will tell us about the pace of the epidemic now.”

Mäkijärvi urges those who have traveled over Easter to get tested if they have symptoms. This information can then inform decisions about restrictions and recommendations.

“If we don’t have precise information on the extent of the epidemic, we are in the fog and decisions are not as good as they would be otherwise.”

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