Should cases of the Novel Coronavirus be found in Estonia's capital, it would not be placed under quarantine, unlike what has happened in Italy and some other states, says the Health Board (Terviseamet).
Speaking on ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" Wednesday evening, Martin Kadai, head of the Health Board's Emergency Medical Department said that the spread of the virus so far has demonstrated it is very viable, but at the same time there comes a point where a decision should be made whether this spread can be prevented at all, or whether the virus should be dealt with in the same way as any other virus which appears during "flu season" in Estonia (from late Autumn onwards-ed.).
In Kadai's estimation, countries which have initiated quarantine measures have overreacted.
"The reaction is somewhat unbelievable, since this is clearly not a super-virus. The point is, of course, that countries should make efforts to prevent the virus spreading, but at times this is over-emphasized and is not sensible. The worst thing that a state can do is cause a spreading fear of the virus which both paralyzes normal social life but does not mean that the virus can not still propagate," Kadai said.
Kadai also noted that Tallinn would not be quarantined, in the event of an appearance of the virus.
"Certainly this won't be the case with this disease. If we overdo it with measures which violate the fundamental rights of the people and limit the organization of social life, then we definitely will not gain anything reasonable," he said.
Kadai said that Estonia was not being too lenient in its approach.
"At present, countries are trying to stem the spread of the disease. The question in a week or two is whether we really need to review strategy and honestly admit that we can't stop the virus from spreading, and deal with its consequences. After all, we do not try to halt the flu season at the beginning of each period, in September or October, by specific measures, as a matter of emergency," he added.
Around a dozen towns in Italy have been closed off for quarantine following cases of the virus, with Lombardy and Veneto reportedly the most affected regions.
Editor: Andrew Whyte