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Finland hits record daily coronavirus infections

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Finland on Thursday registered a record number of new coronavirus infections in the space of a day, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare said.

The total of 1,024 new infections beat a peak hit in March this year. Hospital admissions also increased.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced plans a week ago to make Finns show proof of vaccination before visiting restaurants and other leisure services, as well as to start vaccinating 12- to 16-year-olds.

While Finland remains among the countries least affected by the pandemic, infections began to rise in June and accelerated further in July when soccer fans returned home from Euro 2020 matches abroad.

To date, the nation of 5.5 million people has recorded 109,983 cases and 995 deaths. There are currently 83 people in hospital with COVID-19.

More than 82% of Finns have now received at least one vaccine dose and more than 48% are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Photo: A view of hand sanitizing symbol at Helsinki-Vantaa airport near Helsinki, Finland. EPA-EFE/MAURI RATILAINEN