HELSINKI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- An earlier recommendation by the Finnish government of cancelling events with over 500 participants became an official ban as the regional administrations confirmed it on Friday, which means the country is taking tougher measures to cope with the spread of COVID-19.
In the capital, Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori announced at a press conference the city's latest decision regarding the coronavirus situation. Public events with over 100 participants organized by the city will be cancelled for the time being, and that indoor swimming pools of the city and sports halls closed.
Also on Friday, Finnish public health authorities announced that people with mild symptoms are no longer advised to contact public health departments but should stay at home. Authorities have assured the capacity of intense care facilities in Finland is sufficient. However, unlike other countries, Finland has not closed schools or day-care.
Fifty-two new cases have been confirmed in Finland, bringing the total COVID-19 infections to 161. Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said in a statement that the country is approaching the threshold to define the outbreak as an epidemic.
Among the 52 new infection cases, there is one in the Finnish Defense Forces. The forces said they had been able to identify those exposed. Planned refresher trainings for reservists have been cancelled throughout the defense forces due to the situation.
Following government measures, Finnish National Theater announced the cancellation of all performances in this spring.