First coronavirus death reported in Finland

Ambulance crew in protective clothing.
Ambulance crew in protective clothing. Source: ERR

The first death resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus has been reported in Finland.

The victim was an elderly person from the Helsinki area, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, though no further details are reported.

Public broadcaster Yle's English page said that prime minister Sanna Marin is preparing to prepared to restrict movement from Uusimaa, the most populous county in Finland.

Five hundred and twenty one coronavirus cases have been identified in Finland so far.

The country imposed border controls requiring a 14-day quarantine period earlier in the week. From midnight Sunday, Estonian citizens who hold Finnish residency permits and work in Finland will no longer be able to shuttle between the two countries without undergoing the quarantine, effectively meaning they must choose which side of the Gulf of Finland to remain on from then.

Estonia and Finland create a coronavirus response taskforce

Foreign ministers of both countries set up a joint-response coronavirus task force on Saturday. Estonian foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) and his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto held a video conference Saturday, also attended by representatives of the social affairs and interior ministries from both countries.

The joint taskforce is set to map the issues caused by the coronavirus crisis and decide on cooperative measures, a foreign ministry press release said, and both ministers expressed their wishes to each other's nations for strength in containing the virus. 

"The relations between Estonia and Finland cannot be severed, even during the coronavirus crisis," Urmas Reinsalu said.

"We discussed various solutions for managing this pandemic together. Now the taskforce must draw up its proposals," Reinsalu said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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