Helme: Interior ministry ready to take action to stop spread of coronavirus ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Mart Helme in the ETV studios a few days ago.
Mart Helme in the ETV studios a few days ago. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

According to Minister of the Interior Mart Helme, the Ministry of the Interior is ready to support the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Health Board in solving any possible emergency situation resulting from the coronavirus and this in particular with the implementation of the quarantine and the movement restrictions.

"The Interiors ministry in collaboration with the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) can support the Social ministry and the Health board in the outbreak area, for example in a certain city, institution or even on a ship, establishing a quarantine or movement restrictions, prohibition of organizing events or implementing stay ban in certain areas," Minister of interiors Helme said in a press release. "This all can be done in immediate danger and without announcing an emergency situation," the minister confirmed.

Helme added that the proposal to announce an emergency situation will be made by the social minister on a proposal by the Health board. If the government decides to announce an emergency situation due to the virus, the social minister will be assigned as the leader of the emergency situation.

"Upon the decision of the Government of the Republic of Estonia, it is possible to close the state border or establish an internal border control, if the Health board proposes it," Helme noted. "The interior's minister has the right to restore the internal border control in a situation that requires immediate action so that PPA in collaboration could conduct a sanitary inspection. The interior's minister is also allowed to close the state border but it has to be followed by the unanimous decision of the government," minister of interiors added.

On Wednesday, February 26, the first person to be diagnosed with coronavirus in Estonia was identified, an Iranian with Estonian residence permit who had arrived by bus from Riga.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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