Stora Enso plant becomes coronavirus hotspot
The Stora Enso paper mill in Oulu has become a Covid-19 hotspot after 150 workers there were found to have the virus. Around 1,700 contractors are working to turn the paper mill into into a packaging board plant, at two sites near the city. At the end of November mass coronavirus testing was undertaken and 150 workers were confirmed with the virus – including 10 of Stora Enso staff, although the majority of cases were in the workers contracted from outside companies including some foreign workers. Stora Enso says any workers coming from abroad were given Covid-19 tests before leaving their home countries, and again on arrival in Finland. The company says the infection chain broke out despite protocols in place to limit any contact between small teams of workers, and with mask protocols in effect. A new round of testing involving almost 2,000 people is taking place, and workers can only return to their jobs after negative results.
Poll: Finns have doubts about coronavirus vaccine
A new survey by MTV News finds a large number of Finns have doubts about getting a coronavirus vaccine, with just over a third completely sure about getting the inoculation. There’s particular high levels of doubt among young people, worried about the side effects and whether the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. More than a third of people who took part in the survey said they would definitely take the vaccine, with men a little more keen than women. Some 40% of men who replied to the survey said they were confident about taking the vaccine, while 30% of women felt the same way. The survey interviewed 1,237 people between 26th and 30th November. The margin of error is 2.7 percentage points in either direction.
Confidence in politicians is slipping
The high confidence that Finns had in politicians during the first wave of coronavirus in spring has started to fade. That’s the findings of think tank EVA which looked at attitudes towards politicians and concluded that with the start of the second wave of Covid-19 infections in October, much of the faith in politicians has faded. In particular this is reflected in growing doubts about the reliability of information provided by politicians to the public. The vast majority (71%) of Finns still fully support the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic, even though they might be considered strict. However, the consensus is no longer at the spring level, when 89% said they supported government actions. EVA’s survey found the share of those who gave their full support to the government has fallen particularly sharply (23%), and now there are more people critical of them – some 19% of Finns now have the opposite opinion, compared to only 8% in the spring.
Helmarit win with last gasp goal
The Finnish women’s national football team, Helmarit, have put themselves at the top of their European Championship qualifying group with a last gasp goal against Scotland. The teams were 0-0 after 90 minutes in Edinburgh on Tuesday night and with the last kick of the game the ball came to Amanda Rantanen, making her national team debut as a substitute in the 94th minute. After receiving a long pass up the field, Rantanen kicked the ball at the Scottish goal keeper who deflected it; the ball bounced back at Rantanen again, hitting her in the face, and rebounded into the back of the net in the 95th minute. It was all over seconds later when the referee’s whistle blew. The win puts Finland at the top of their group, on the same points as Portugal but ahead on goal difference. With the victory, Helmarit secured a place in the qualifiers, with the group stage finals against Portugal and Cyprus scheduled to take place in February.
Wednesday morning weather
It’s a chilly start to Wednesday morning in many parts of the country, with temperatures in Lapland ranging from -4°C to -10°C, There’s some snow in the forecast through central and eastern border areas, turning to sleet in the southeast around Lappeenranta. There’s some showers too for Tampere this morning with the best of the sunshine in the capital city region. Temperatures range from -7°C in Oulu to -2°C in Vaasa and Jyväskylä; +2°C for Hämeenleena and Helsinki, and up to +4°C to start the day in Hanko on the south coast.