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- 8.6 Public Health
- 44.2 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Clear, fact-based communications, a generous stimulus package, and substantial improvements in public health policy in the past few months have been instrumental factors in Finland's strong and much-improved COVID-19 response.
Finland has the lowest level of inequality in the Index and widely accessible healthcare, which support its ability to respond to coronavirus, although it also has a low number of hospital beds.
- Debt/GDP ratio 59.3%
- GDP/capita $49,548
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 27.4
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 1
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 89.6
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 31.4
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Oct 1.)
Public Health Directives
Finland has mobilized no emergency health funds, which, coupled with a relatively relaxed lockdown and minimal testing, give it a relatively weak public health policy score.
- Stay at home order 0
- Public gathering restrictions 0
- School closings 1
- Public event cancellations 1
- Testing policy 2
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $20.39
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 189.3
- Contact tracing 1
Finland’s financial response is around the median, driven by a generous stimulus package and income support.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 18.8%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 1
Finland’s prime minister conducts regular press briefings, and press freedom is high.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 0
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1
Finland performs very strongly in this category, with very low death and case rates and a low positivity score.
- Total deaths 344
- Death rate per 100K 62.1
- Total cases 9,992
- Cases per 100K 1,803
- Percent of positive tests 0.9
- Change in positivity rates +0.7
|1||May 14||Primary and secondary schools reopen||12.40|
|2||Jun 01||Restaurants and public facilities reopen; gatherings up to 50 people are allowed (increased from 10)||7.22|
|3||Jul 31||Public events with more than 500 people allowed||1.32|
- First large-scale trial run for coronavirus-sniffing dogs: Finland is using COVID-sniffing dogs at Helsinki Airport as part of a pilot program aimed at making dogs a part of screening process. Results given within 10 seconds, after which participants will take a conventional test to help researchers determine the accuracy of the dogs’ reading. Read More
- Uptick in cases, but total levels remain low: Finland has experienced an increase in cases coinciding with opening of the economy, but cases are being managed with continued adherence to face masks and other protective measures. Read More
- PPE stockpiles critical to response: Key to Finland's success has been a pre-existing stockpile of PPE, which enabled it to mobilize supplies quickly. Read More
- Widespread testing available: The government has set a target of processing 10,000 tests per day, to keep the threshold for test access as low as possible. Read More
- Direct support to companies limit layoffs: In May, the government announced it would be distributing one billion euros to directly support companies affected by the pandemic. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
Per 1M 274
Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.
Per 1M 5,893
Despite being known for a relatively strong public healthcare system, Sweden has been hit hard with cases; the country’s lack of stay-at-home orders and school closures, limited testing, and few gathering restrictions overshadowed its financial support, reliance on facts, and accountability with an open press.
Per 1M 650
Denmark's score is very strong, due to a robust healthcare system and to generous fiscal responses that safeguarded employment. Public health directives have improved substantially in recent months.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million