Coronavirus cases top 700 in Finland, more measures expected

2020-03-24 03:31:05 GMT2020-03-24 11:31:05(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HELSINKI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded 700 in Finland on Monday, as the government began preparing further restrictions on everyday life to combat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

According to the Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland had 700 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of Monday afternoon, national broadcaster Yle reported.

The Institute said that 50 patients were receiving hospital treatment, with 13 in intensive care. To date, Finland has confirmed one death due to the novel coronavirus.

Finnish Prime minister Sanna Marin said the cabinet was working on possibilities to close privately-owned operations such as restaurants and bars. The government was also preparing restrictions on transport.

However, Marin wrote on social media that the Finnish legislation has turned out to be "stiff" on some of these measures. Talks between the coalition parties continued into late night. Marin told Yle earlier that areas around the capital could be isolated from the rest of the country.