Finland reaches virus milestone, recording no new cases
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Health officials in Finland announced no new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the first time in more than three months. "This is the first 'zero day' since February 26," a spokesperson for the Institute for Health and Welfare told AFP.
However, one person died from the virus on Thursday, the institute said, bringing the death toll to 322 in the Nordic nation of 5.5 million people. An estimated 5,800 of Finland's 7,000 recorded COVID-19 cases have now recovered. A total of 50 people remain in hospital, with seven in intensive care.
The virus' reproduction rate has fallen in the last two weeks to between 0.75 and 0.80, officials said, adding that more than a third of hospital districts did not register a single case during the final week of May. Since mid-May Finland's government has begun lifting emergency restrictions that were imposed on 18 March.
Schools were reopened for two weeks before the summer holidays began at the start of June, and earlier this week bars, restaurants, sports facilities and cultural institutions were allowed to reopen under social distancing regulations.
However, officials and the government have said they are braced for a second wave of infections later in the year, and have warned the public to continue following distancing advice and to self-isolate and seek testing if they experience any symptoms.