HELSINKI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- A health counseling and COVID-19 testing point is being set up at the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, announced the City of Vantaa, where the airport is located, on Wednesday.
The city said in a press release that the move is planned as part of nationwide readiness maintenance. Vantaa's Health and Social Welfare Service is responsible for the operations of the health counseling and COVID-19 testing point in cooperation with the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District's laboratories (HUSLAB).
The goal is to actively combat COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus, at the borders by identifying carriers of the virus among air travelers, and thus prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the country.
The health counseling and testing point is responsible for advising passengers, assessing the need for testing and guiding passengers to the testing if necessary, said the city, adding that not all passengers will be tested, but those with symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected of being infected will be selected for testing.
Tested passengers should not use public transportation to leave the airport. If necessary, passengers are instructed to use taxis capable of carrying potential infected people, according to the city.
Testing points are also planned for Helsinki's seaports. The Helsinki metropolitan area is planning to more effectively tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, by introducing testing points to the city's seaports in August, Sanna Isosomppi, chief physician from the City of Helsinki's Epidemiological Operations Unit, told Finnish national broadcaster Yle on Wednesday.
According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), as of Wednesday afternoon, Finland had confirmed a total of 7,414 COVID-19 infections and 329 deaths.
Public debate on use of face masks accelerated this week in Finland. A high official at THL said on Tuesday that "a recommendation regarding face mask is actively considered" in the institute.
Airlines and airports in Finland insist on the use of face masks, but no such requirement has been enforced in other forms of transport or public gathering. Enditem