What the papers say: Sheep pox, 2020 preview, where to take Christmas trees ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative). Source: Andrew Whyte/ERR News

Preparations are being made for sheep and goat pox, emergency service waiting times, Eesti gaas in Finland, and what to do with your old Christmas tree are some of the stories in the Estonian media on January 6.

Most links in Estonian.

What will happen in 2020?

Postimees has a preview (translated into English) of the upcoming year and what you should be expecting here.

Farmers preparing for goat and sheep pox

Maaleht reported farmers in southern Estonia are for preparing for sheep and goat pox, which was reported to be active in Western Russia before Christmas, after the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) said the disease may spread across the border and reach Estonia. 

The agency informed all sheep and goat farmers in Põlva and Võru County by e-mail about the disease outbreak and made its own recommendations for security measures, they also informed the Sheep and Goat Breeders' Association and veterinarians.

On December 18, sheep and goat pox was diagnosed in a herd of thousands of sheep in the Pushkinskyi district of Pushkinskije Gorõ, about 100 kilometers from Estonia and about 50 kilometers from Latvia. Two hundred sheep fell ill and one hundred sheep died, the Latvian Food and Veterinary Office said no further outbreaks have occurred.

"The spread of the disease to Estonia cannot really be ruled out," said Hele-Mai Sammel, head of the Animal Health and Welfare Department of the Veterinary and Food Board on Friday. 

Postimees also wrote that bird flu (H5N8) is expected to make its way to Estonia and has already been detected in northern Poland. Avian influenza is highly contagious. The VTA advises people not to bring poultry or eggs back to Estonia from Poland as the disease could be transmitted through them.

Eesti Gaas breaks Finnish grip on market

Eesti Gaas, has won more than 10 percent of the open natural gas market in Finland and is aiming for a market share of 20 percent, the equivalent of Estonia's annual consumption, Postimees wrote on Monday.

The opening of the Balticonnector pipeline on January 1 has allowed Estonia to enter the Finnish market place as the pipeline unified the gas markets of Estonia, Latvia, and Finland for the first time. 

 The next goal, Eesti Gaas said, is to double their market share and gain more customers.

Estonian volunteer firefighter

Õhtulet spoke to Kristjan, an Estonian volunteer firefighter in Australia who has been working with the emergency services to put out bushfires in Victoria.

"Many homes and farms have been lost to these fires. They try to get the fire under control, but when it doesn't rain and the hot weather continues, it makes it very difficult," he told Õhtulet.

"I would say the mood is quite mournful," said Kristjan. New South Wales has been the worst region affected by fires but he said there are several in Victoria too and the ash and smoke are disrupting people's daily lives.

Old Christmas trees

Portal Rohe Geenius has a list of places you can take your old Christmas trees in Tallinn. The list includes: Haabersti, Kristiine, Pirita, Mustamäe and Nõmme. A full list of sites can be seen here.

Police, ambulance, Rescue Service waiting times

On Monday Delfi wrote about the average waiting times, between calling and arrival, for emergency services.

The police have become significantly faster in 2019, the website wrote, it took police an average of 14:01 minutes in 2018 to reach the scene of an accident, last year the response time had fallen to 11:54 minutes. 

Officers in the East Prefecture were fastest with an average of 8:37 minutes but people living in West Estonia had the longest wait, on average 14:59 minutes, which was attributed to the area being the largest and people living remotely.

Head of the Rescue Department Martin Lambing said the Rescue Board can ensure that in every eventuality the first rescue vehicle reaches the scene within a maximum of 15 minutes.

Last year, the Rescue Board reached life-threatening events in an average of 8:57 minutes, while in 2018 the average was 9:28 minutes. 

Cars eCalling emergency services 

Web portal Auto Geenius asked the police about statistics from eCall, where cars contact the emergency services themselves after an accident.

Heiko Leesment of the Alert Center told the portal that in 2019 the center received 215 eCall messages and of those 16 were emergency calls which required an ambulance, police and rescuers being sent to the scene. Most of the eCall notifications were related to Tallinn and Harju County but there was no information about which type of cars they were sent from.  

eCall is automatically activated in the event of an accident by in-vehicle sensors or manually by pressing the SOS button. It means the alarm center receives an accident report even if the occupants are not able to report the accident themselves, for example, if they are unconscious. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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