Tuesday Newspapers: Covid Variants, Childhood Weight Problems and Housing Shortage in Helsinki | News
The Covid dominates the news agenda this Tuesday.
The Helsinki region has seen an increase in Covid cases, and health officials are concerned about the faster spread of new variants that now dominate the region.
All cases in the region are now screened for a so-called S protein, allowing health authorities to quickly determine whether or not an infection is caused by the new variant.
HS quotes virologist Olli vapalahti as saying he’s not at all surprised that the British variant is now so dominant. He says the region is now at a “critical” time, when policymakers must act to control the spread of the virus.
He had a concrete suggestion on what to do: close bars and restaurants. This idea was taken up by Asko Järvinen, Head of the Helsinki Region Hospital District, in Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun).
“The most efficient [measure] that would be if we could limit the permitted premises, ”Järvinen said.
“People move there, the music makes people speak louder and spread more droplets. Licensed restaurants have been the source of several rather long chains of infection that clearly lead back to it,” a- he stressed.
Children’s Covid Weight Gain
Pori Satakunnan Kansa paper gate (siirryt toiseen palveluun) a story citing school nurses in the area who fear school children have become a bit chubby during the pandemic.
“My experience is that if the weight and height of children are marked on a growth chart, it shows a much larger increase in weight gain than in the previous year,” said Kaisa-Alanko, a school nurse in the north of Satakunta.
History suggests that pandemic-era urges to stay home have made children less active than before. And youth obesity was a concern even before the pandemic.
Long periods of home schooling reduced daily activities like walking or cycling to school, and children also missed physical education classes. Distance learning also sometimes makes it more difficult for children to access healthy food, when school meals are not available or must be collected.
If parents don’t make special efforts to compensate, the lack of activity can leave its mark.
Housing shortage in Helsinki
The newspaper says that although Helsinki is building 10,000 homes this year, it is still around a thousand too few to meet demand.
“Domestic and international investors are asking what is on offer in Helsinki, but we still can’t find anything,” said Juha Metsälä of the construction company Pohjola Rakennus.
Investor demand remains strong and population growth forecasts in the Helsinki region also indicate an increased need for housing in the coming years, according to Kauppalehti.
Some 12.5% more building permits were granted at the end of last year compared to the corresponding period in 2019, but these homes will take time to build.