Change of advice on coronavirus tests as capacity increases

THL now says there's enough testing capacity in Finland for anyone with symptoms to get a test, rather than just stay home and wait for the virus to run its course.

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Epidemiologist testing samples / Credit: iStock

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL is now advising anyone with coronavirus symptoms to get a test.

This is a change of direction from earlier official advice at the start of the pandemic, which said anyone with mild symptoms should just stay at home and self-medicate, and let the virus run its course.

Now THL says the sooner that Covid-19 is confirmed, the sooner the infected person can be isolated and other potentially exposed people can be traced. The policy change comes as testing capacity increases, and laboratories are able to handle more tests every day.

“Rapid detection of coronavirus infection helps each patient protect their loved ones from possible further infection. Increasing testing will also improve the up-to-date monitoring of the spread of the epidemic and the assessment of the correct timing and extent of control measures” says THL Chief Physician Taneli Puumalainen.

Symptoms of coronavirus may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, nausea, or diarrhea.

Currently Finnish laboratories are able to handle more than 8,000 tests every day, with a goal of increasing the sampling, testing and infection detection capacity of each hospital district, and key workers in social and health care.