One hundred and fifty people, including more than 100 children, have been put under quarantine at home in Helsinki as a precaution against the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.
Helsinki University Hospital HUS says they’ve now identified five confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the capital. Of those infected, three are women of working age, one is a man of retirement age, and the other is a child of school age. A sixth case was diagnosed at the end of January in a tourist from China visiting Lapland.
All of the infected people in Helsinki are recovering well, but anyone who might have been exposed to the virus has been ordered to self-isolate at home under the provisions of the Communicable Diseases Act.
This includes at least 100 students in grades 6A, 6B and 6C and class 4B from Helsinki University’s teacher training school in Viiki, their teachers and a school assistant who face two weeks of quarantine after possibly coming into contact with the infected 6th grade child.
The HJK P07 Blue junior football team is also being placed under home quarantine after the child took part in a training session.
Parents were informed about the quarantine through the Wilma school messaging system, and families of the children on the football team are also being notified by health authorities.
Family members of the children are not themselves under quarantine because they haven’t been in direct close contact with the infected child.
According to an assessment carried out by healthcare professionals, HUS says the risk of transmission to children who came into contact with the sick child is low due to the mild coronavirus symptoms that child is experiencing.
Other students and staff at the school or other football teams are not considered exposed.
On Monday the City of Helsinki will launch a coronavirus hotline for local residents to call with questions and guidance about the outbreak although HUS stresses that there is currently no epidemic in Finland.