Photo taken on March 31, 2020 shows a street in Helsinki, Finlan. As of Monday, the coronavirus cases in Finland stood at 1,313 with 13 deaths, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). (Xinhua/Zhu Haochen)
Photo taken on March 31, 2020 shows a street in Helsinki, Finlan. As of Monday, the coronavirus cases in Finland stood at 1,313 with 13 deaths, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). (Xinhua/Zhu Haochen)

The Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health published on Wednesday evening its updated strategy on COVID-19, increasing the country’s capacity and efficiency in testing.

Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, said at a government press conference that the daily testing capacity in the country will be raised from the current maximum of 14,000 to 20,000.

What’s more, said the minister, tests could be performed within one day of being booked and the result would be available within a day after testing, in order to curb the spread of the virus more efficiently.

However, Finland has not yet decided about a system for issuing “COVID-19 negative certificate,” which is required by some countries upon entry.

Kiuru noted that the issue will come up as mobility increases domestically and internationally, and that the system must be looked into by the government.

Finnish government announced early Wednesday that it will upgrade travel restrictions from Aug. 24, restoring controls on travel from Norway, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, Malta and Greece within the Schengen area, and from Ireland, San Marino and Cyprus outside the area, as well as from Japan in Asia, since COVID-19 occurrence rates in those places have exceeded the Finnish criteria — 8 infected cases per 100,000 residents.

Finland relaxed travel from 17 European countries in mid-July. However, controls soon resumed on travel from Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Andorra.

According to Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, 29 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total COVID-19 infections to 7,805. Death toll stood at 334, with no new death reported in the past 24 hours. An estimated 7,100 people have recovered, accounting for over 90 percent of reported cases.

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