The coronavirus pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the operations and finances of HUS. No earlier epidemics or exceptional circumstances have ever caused such a thorough and prolonged change in our operations.
We began preparing for the arrival of the new infectious disease back in January when HUSLAB prepared to analyze coronavirus samples. In February, we stepped up our preparedness and further preparations. By March, the pandemic was already in full swing in Uusimaa. At that time, we were obliged to rethink all of our operations as dictated by the pandemic.
The number of coronavirus patients cared for in our hospitals peaked in early April. We dealt with the sudden influx of coronavirus patients by retraining and transferring employees to caring for coronavirus patients in intensive care units and on inpatient wards. Our treatment results are of a high international standard.
The first wave of the pandemic subsided by the summer. After the summer holiday season, the challenge for us was to increase our sampling and analysis capacity and to dismantle the treatment queues that had built up in the spring. Uncertainty about the future complicated the planning and management of operations.
During the autumn, the number of infections and coronavirus patients began to increase again in Uusimaa, but the second wave of the pandemic was slower and shallower than in many other European countries. Up until the middle of November, the number of infections grew rapidly, but with the introduction of tighter recommendations and restrictions, a downturn was achieved before Christmas. After Christmas, hope was brought by coronavirus vaccines, which were administered to some of our personnel among the first in Finland and at the same time as vaccinations began in many other European countries.
This section is an extensive account of our operations during the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is also addressed in many other articles in our Annual Report: