• The Financial District


Thousands of people in Finland have taken coronavirus antibody tests. Some employers have even offered it to all of their workers. Private clinics charge around 100 euros for the blood test, which public clinic doctors rarely order, indicating that enthusiasm for the COVID-detecting test has sputtered, the Finnish Yle news service reported.

Private healthcare firm Terveystalo said around five percent of the some 4,000 tests it has performed have come back positive. "There was a flurry of demand for the test when it came out in the spring, but interest has since dropped," Piia Aarnisalo, Terveystalo's laboratory diagnostics director said. Mehiläinen, another private provider, said around four percent of its antibody samples had tested positive.

Kristiina Hotakainen of Mehiläinen said doctors have mainly ordered antibody tests for patients exhibiting prolonged and unexplained symptoms. Public health institute THL has said people should not get the test out of curiosity, suggesting that relatively small sample sizes can throw off the accuracy of the test.

"But if you think you’ve been exposed, have had the symptoms and never got a swab test, you can go ahead and get it and most likely receive an accurate result," THL research director Arto Palmu said. A negative antibody test won't necessarily appease border officials. Travelers still need to provide proof of a recent negative test upon arrival in certain countries.

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