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Almost 100 Finnish football fans bring Covid back from Russia

Helsinki – Nearly 100 supporters of Finland’s national football team who travelled to Russia for a Euro 2020 defeat against Belgium have caught the coronavirus, authorities said yesterday, reported AFP.

The prime minister joined the THL health authority overseeing the epidemic in calling for Finns who returned home after Monday’s 2-0 loss in St Petersburg to take a test.

“It is important everybody takes a test,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin told reporters at an EU summit in Brussels.

“Possible cases will thus be identified and the infection will not spread,” she added.

Tests carried out at customs posts along the border with Russia have already returned 86 positive cases with more analysis still ongoing.

Crowding caused by around 3,000 Finnish supporters crossing the border led officials to allow 800 people to enter the country without taking a test, local media said.

Russia yesterday reported more than 20,000 new coronavirus infections and 568 deaths, a peak not seen since January, as it battles a surging outbreak of the Delta variant.

THL urged all those who returned to ensure they have a test within 72 hours, noting the infection rate in St Petersburg was 20 times higher than that in Finland.

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