Wednesday Newspapers: Snowstorm and Covid Crunch

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Finland shovels a lot of snow on Wednesday.

Image: Lehtikuva

Helsinki was hit hard by snowstorm Toini, and it shows in the papers on Tuesday. Ilta-Sanomat has a live blog which includes a fascinating embedded video of a snow plow circling central Helsinki, as well as all the latest updates from the winter storm.

It’s a real snowstorm. Helsingin Sanomat says Helsinki now has the thickest snow cover in the country, with some 46 centimeters recorded Tuesday evening at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. It’s the same as Posio in Lapland.

And there is more to come. HS reports that an additional 10 to 15 centimeters of precipitation is expected on Wednesday, citing a meteorologist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The weather is different in the north, with a cold front bringing temperatures well below zero. In North Karelia, it was -20 degrees Celsius and the capital region will also see a drop in mercury on Wednesday once the snow stops falling.

Snow shovel rush

Pampered southerners have gotten used to the mild winters, judging by the flood of social media posts around the snow removal work on Tuesday.

The responsibility of snow removal is taken seriously by Finnish households, and this week Kauppalehti reports that it has sparked a snow removal rush that has ravaged a business in Rauma on the west coast.

Motoseal Components has not taken advantage of the milder winters of recent years,

“In the capital and in the regions of Turku, all snow removal tools have been left in the warehouse,” said the general manager of Motoseal. Kari Sallinen. “Fortunately, the inventory from past years is being liquidated and next fall we can start selling new inventory.”

“As a snow shovel you have to be happy with these conditions,” said Sallinen.

The company achieved 6.7 million euros in turnover last year, and employs around ten production workers. They’re ramping up production now, but the snow shovel season is almost over – stores won’t order shovels after February.

Corona Crunch

Helsingin Sanomat has a preview of a ministerial meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening, during which the government will decide on further measures to combat the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the Municipality of Helsinki announced that it would start offering Covid tests on ships making the connection between Tallinn and the Finnish capital.

This is because of fears over the newer variants of Covid-19 which originate in South Africa and the UK and are believed to be considerably more contagious than the original strain.

There is little sequencing of positive test samples in Estonia, so the prevalence of these strains is unclear, but the overall epidemic situation in the country is significantly worse than it is currently in Finland, ministers therefore want to see what they can. do to tighten things up.

They are considering asking negative test results from those traveling for work and removing the right to travel to Finland for family reasons.

Some 32,000 people per week traveled between Estonia and Finland in January.

HS reports that the government is also examining the conditions under which events can be organized in areas that are in the community transmission stage of the epidemic, and may even examine whether there is reason to return emergency powers to the much higher light transmission rates of the new variant.

HS notes that in Ireland, the prevalence of Covid-19 over two weeks has increased to 1,329 cases per 100,000 people. Up to 45 percent of these positive cases are identified as coming from the new strain.

A month ago, Ireland’s two-week prevalence was 80 cases per 100,000 population. Finland’s number is currently 65.

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