Helsinki Airport: Just nine coronavirus cases detected in arriving passengers

Airport screenings for Covid-19 over a period of one month found just nine cases in arriving passengers who reported feeling ill at the terminal.

File picture of Helsinki Airport departures hall / Credit: Finavia

Health screenings on passengers arriving at Helsinki Airport have detected very few cases of coronavirus.

New figures released by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL show that from 27th March when screenings began, until the end of April, some 8,837 arriving passengers had completed a questionnaire about their health.

Out of the total, 204 people reported they had symptoms of a respiratory infection but just nine people were confirmed with coronavirus.

“Based on the figures, it seems that coronavirus infections are quite rarely found through screening at the airport” says Taneli Puumalainen, THL’s Chief Physician.

“It is possible that some tourists will not get symptoms until later. Therefore, it is important to follow the official instructions and apply for the test as soon as symptoms occur” he adds.

Most of Finland’s tourism-related cases are from Austria

When the number of coronavirus cases in Finland first started to rise, they were linked with Finns who had been abroad and then returned home and become sick.

THL says that so far about 7% of all notifications to the Infectious Diseases Register connected with foreign travel originated in Austria.

“The majority of the cases found in March were from abroad. In April, the proportion of infections acquired abroad fell to less than five per cent, as travel has been very limited in recent weeks” says Puumalainen.

Other common countries of origin for Covid-19 in Finland have been Italy (about 3% of reported cases) and Spain (about 2% of reported cases).