Here's our evening round-up of the latest coronavirus news from Finland – Thursday

Latest cases and casualties
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is self-isolating and working from home at her official residence in Kesäranta, after one of the staff there was in contact with someone else who tested positive for coronavirus. Kuva: Mauri Ratilainen
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is self-isolating and working from home at her official residence in Kesäranta, after one of the staff there was in contact with someone else who tested positive for coronavirus. Kuva: Mauri Ratilainen
Kuva: NewsNowFinland
Kuva: NewsNowFinland

Latest cases and casualties

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL says there are now 4,284 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Finland – an increase of 155 since the day before.

There are also 172 reported deaths related to coronavirus, an increase of 23 from Wednesday.

THL says that with the available information they know the median age of those patients who died is 84 years old. Among the fatalities 54% are men and 46% women.

While most cases of coronavirus in Finland have so far been mild, there are current 206 people in hospital getting treatment for Covid-19 related symptoms and 60 people in intensive care.

Pro sports clubs look to government for help

There have been mixed fortunes for professional sports teams in Finland during the coronavirus pandemic. The timing of restrictions called time on the final games of the basketball and ice hockey seasons, and now impacts the beginning of football and Finnish baseball.

Some clubs like Helsinki football team HJK have been able to retain all their players albeit with time-limited pay cuts. Other teams like Tampere ice hockey giants Tappara received €100,000 grant from Business Finland to find new revenue streams. But not every team is so lucky.

At Joensuu’s Kataja Basket all the players and staff have been furloughed without pay. ”The season ended and now financially it’s terrible” says Kataja Basket Executive Director Johannes Lasaroff.

Some politicians have called for a targeted bailout package for sports teams. MP Sinuhe Wallinheimo (NCP) says the sports sector needs more than €80 million compensation. ”It’s going to be a very big disaster if clubs can’t play their season” he says.

PM self-isolates and gets coronavirus test

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is self-isolating and working from home at her official residence in Kesäranta, after one of the staff there was in contact with someone else who tested positive for coronavirus.

The person who had been working at Kesäranta last Friday is not showing any symptoms of Covid-19, and had not met the PM, her family or the PM’s staff.

“The potential for exposure is very low. The Prime Minister will continue her normal work, remotely” says a government statement.

Marin has been tested for coronavirus and in the meantime is working from Kesäranta as a precaution.

Summer gatherings canceled for June and July

The government has announced that all public events with more than 500 people will be canceled for June and July, as measures to manage the coronavirus pandemic are extended.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) made the announcement on Wednesday evening after a day of talks between ministers and experts, and the restrictions mean that some of the biggest events of the summer including Ilosaarirock in Joensuu, Pori Jazz Festival, Provinssi Festival in Seinäjoki and sports events like the Motorcycle Grand Prix with was coming to Finland for the first time, are all canceled this year.

Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP) has complained that the government should have already made decisions about events set to take place later in the summer. He says most of Helsinki’s big festivals happen in August. A decision about events later in the summer will be taken in early June. Read more here.

Foundation donates 20 ventilators to hospitals

The Sigrid Jusélius Foundation is donating 20 ventilators to the universities of Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere and Turku to help treat intensive care patients during the coronavirus crisis.

The foundation has earmarked half a million euros for the donation which they say is exceptional, because the foundation usually supports medical research rather than direct hospital care.

“Given the exceptionally serious situation, we also decided to support practical patient work and facilitate the fight that medical professionals are currently waging against the coronavirus in our hospitals” says Thomas Wilhelmsson, President of the Foundation.

The first ventilators have already arrived in hospitals.

Arrests in case of faulty face mask procurement order

A businessman involved in a controversial deal to bring protective masks from China to Finland has been arrested by police. Onni Sarmaste has been detained by the National Bureau of Investigation and around €2.7 million worth of funds were frozen.

Sarmaste was one of the middlemen who brokered a deal between the National Emergency Supply Agency NESA and manufacturers in China to bring millions of face masks to Finland.

However, when they arrived and were tested the masks were found to be of such poor quality that they couldn’t be used.

The police arrested Sarmaste at his Espoo home on Thursday along with another man, and also impounded two vehicles. Sarmaste had previously told the media that he bought some luxury cars with the proceeds of his NESA deal.

The full stories and more can be read here: www.newsnowfinland.fi

Daily news about the coronavirus crisis – koronauutiset englanniksi

Luotettavan tiedon tarve on kasvanut koronakriisin jatkuessa. Kaikkia maakuntamme asukkaita ei suomen- tai ruotsinkielinen media tavoita. Siksi julkaisemme koronakriisin aikana joka ilta englanninkielisen uutiskoosteen päivän tapahtumista. Uusi kooste ilmestyy luettavaksi maanantaista perjantaihin kello 19.30.

Englanninkielinen kooste koronauutisista kertoo nimenomaan päivän tiedoista ja tapahtumista Suomessa. Aineiston tuottaa Lännen Median lehtien käyttöön englanninkielinen uutispalvelu News Now Finland.

As the coronavirus crisis continues our readers have an increased need for reliable information. Not all residents of our region are reached by Finnish or Swedish-language media. That’s why we’ve started to publish an English-language news summary of the day’s coronavirus news. The new round-up will be available online Monday through Friday at 7:30pm.

The English-language compilation of coronavirus news has the latest information related to Finland. The material is produced for Lännen Media publications by the English-language news service News Now Finland.