Health board: No reason to fear people arriving from China

Martin Kadai.
Martin Kadai. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Health Board is calling for common sense and asking people not to see people from China, or those who have recently visited China, as a potential threat.

Martin Kadai, head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Health Board, said it is not reasonable or justified to impose restrictions on people coming from China and the surrounding area.

"Being in China does not mean immediate exposure and subsequent illness," said Kadai, who said it is important to understand that, despite the potential risks, any restrictions must be proportionate, legitimate and in good practice. 

"Today, there is no justification for refusing to serve tourists and clients of Chinese or Asian origin, or for refusing to go to work or school with people who have visited China," he added.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that EU residents living or traveling in Wuhan are at high risk of infection. In other areas of China, the ECDC estimates the risk of infection is moderate with an increasing trend.

Since the end of last week, labs in Estonia have been able to test for and detect the virus. The Infectious Diseases Laboratory will only carry out research on the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV if a healthcare professional has a suspicion of an infectious disease. 

A person is suspected of having a communicable disease when he or she has shown signs of illness and has traveled to China within the last 14 days.

As of February Tuesday, there have been 20,626 laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV cases reported worldwide, including 20,458 in China. 

There are 427 deaths registered, including 426 in China and one in the Philippines. In Europe, Germany and France have the highest levels of diagnosis (12 and 6 cases respectively). Two cases have been reported each in Italy, the United Kingdom and Russia and one case each in Finland, Spain, Sweden and Belgium.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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