In a sample of more than 600 coronavirus tests taken in the autumn no British or South African variants of the virus were found

Publication date 8 Jan 2021

The University of Helsinki has worked together with HUSLAB to study the prevalence of virus variants in the population by sequencing positive coronavirus samples taken in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District. A total of 611 positive coronavirus tests were examined in the study. They had been collected between August and December in 2020. Neither the British nor the South African variant of the virus were found in the tests that were examined. The sample will be supplemented by analysing more tests from the end of the year.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the University of Helsinki will continue the sequencing of positive coronavirus tests by studying more tests.  So far, a total of 17 cases of the mutated coronavirus have been identified in Finland. These are primarily linked with travel to the UK. 

Preventing spread by using travel restrictions and by sending travellers to be tested and to quarantine

The new variant of COVID-19 can spread faster than the previously known one. To prevent the spread of the variant, officials will guide those arriving at entry points from the UK or South Africa to enhanced coronavirus tests and to quarantine. THL recommends that anyone who has been in the UK or South Africa on 7 December or thereafter should get tested for coronavirus immediately after arrival, even if they have no symptoms or have been tested before. Coronavirus tests are also recommended for those arriving from other foreign locations.

After the statement from THL, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has also decided to extend the suspension of passenger air travel from the UK to Finland until 11 January 2021.

Further information:

Taneli Puumalainen
Chief Physician
[email protected]

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