A Helsinki-based woman moving in the Meilahti area marvels at patients dressed in hospital clothes and moving with a drip tray near Meilahti Hospital.

A Helsinki resident who has lived in the area for a long time says that patients have moved from time to time in the past, but in recent weeks the situation has especially increased.

During the week, he says he saw three patients, all men, and they have appeared to meet their loved ones outside the hospital in front of a nearby R-kiosk on Stockholm Street.

- Yesterday, a 60-year-old man was standing in hospital clothes on Stockholm Street with a drip device and talking in peace with two younger people. There came a feeling that they had agreed to an appointment when it was not allowed to go to the hospital to visit, wondering what had happened.

For the time being, the hospitals and units of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District have a ban on visits. Exceptions may be made to the visit ban for compelling reasons at the discretion of the unit.

The ban aims to protect staff and patients in a coronation situation.

However, the movement of patients cannot be prevented in principle, says Aaro Toivonen, HUS's Director of Safety and Emergency.

- The free movement of a citizen is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Finnish Constitution, and there must be very strong legal grounds for restricting it. Although the patient is in hospital, his or her movement cannot in principle be restricted other than on the grounds of the Mental Health Act or the Infectious Diseases Act, and in these cases only in very well-defined situations where the patient is clearly a danger to himself or others, Toivonen says in his e-mail reply.

Toivonen admits that leaving the hospital area is not desirable for treatment, but the hospital district has no means to prevent it.

- It is possible that patients can be seen, for example, at a kiosk near Meilahti. It is important that in all situations, it is now remembered to adhere to safety distances and good hand and cough hygiene.

It is not possible to comment directly on the R-kiosk on Stockholm County, as communication passes through the marketing department of the R-kiosk.

According to the communication of the R-kiosk, no abnormality has been observed at the kiosk, ie no phenomenon, according to them, is involved.

The company emphasizes that during the Korona period, it has introduced, among other things, enhanced cleaning, security intervals and a recommendation for card payments in kiosks. In addition, both customers and staff are offered handbags to make shopping at the kiosks as safe as possible.