Coronavirus: Second wave in Finland is possible, but not certain

Experts say good hand and cough hygiene, adequate testing capacity and early identification of cases can limit the chances of another spike of the epidemic. 

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Päivi XX (Ministry of Health) and Jussi Sane (THL) brief journalists on coronavirus, Helsinki 11th June 2020 / Credit: Lauri Heikkinen, VNK

A second wave of coronavirus in Finland is possible, but not certain, according to healthcare officials.

Speaking at a Thursday morning press conference Jussi Sane, an expert virologist at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL, says that nobody can be sure what will happen next but good hand and cough hygiene, adequate testing capacity and early identification of cases can limit the chances of another spike of the epidemic.

Sane says that in Finland currently the instance of coronavirus is low – and similar to that in Norway, Denmark and Estonia – and while there might be some localised increases in Covid-19 numbers there are no unknown chains of infection. That is, authorities know when someone tests positive, how they got it and who they’ve been in contact with.

Future vaccination plans

Researchers around the world are currently working on possible vaccines for the coronavirus, which are at different stages of development including in Finnish laboratories.

The government has also set aside money in the latest supplementary budget to buy stocks of any new vaccines that are produced.

However Päivi Sillanaukee from the Ministry of Health says that the distribution of any future vaccine is being coordinated by the World Health Organisation and it’s not clear whether the whole Finnish population would need to be vaccinated or only certain people.