Coronavirus figure in Estonia rises to ten

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Health Board building.
Health Board building. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The total number of cases of COVID-19 coronavirus detected in Estonia has risen to ten. Of the latest cases, the two announced earlier this morning were on the same flight from Bergamo, Italy along with two cases identified earlier in the week. Five more confirmed cases have been reported since then.

The Health Board has itemized all those Estonians on the Bergamo-Riga flight on February 29, and analyzed a total of 10 samples, including the new positive cases, on Thursday.

In total, the Health Board has analyzed 183 samples, of which ten have been come up positive, and the remaining 173 negative.

Coronavirus is transmitted via droplet infection and, in some cases, the vector is contaminated surfaces. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus can survive in an outdoor environment for 24-48 hours on hard surfaces, eight to 12 hours on porous materials like clothing and paper, and up to 72 hours on wet surfaces. Ventilation devices do not aid in spreading the virus, however.

The Health Board is holding a press conference at 4 p.m. Estonian time.

Coronavirus facts

  • Ten individuals in Estonia have tested positive for the virus so far, the bulk of them from the February 29 Bergamo-Riga flight.
  • The first confirmed coronavirus case in Estonia was found on Wednesday, February 26. That individual had also flown into Riga Airport, and traveled on to Tallinn by bus.
  • Two special ambulance crews are operating in Estonia's two largest cities, Tallinn and Tartu, the latter covering the whole of South Estonia, to conduct tests in suspected cases at people's homes.
  • Public points of entry into the country also have three-strong ambulance teams ready to take suspected cases to hospital.
  • Those who have reason to believe they might be infected with coronavirus – which means having recently traveled to an at-risk area – should call their family doctor or the family doctor helpline on 1220.
  • The emergency number, 112, should only be called in the event of a serious deterioration in health.
  • Avoiding contact with people who have symptoms, and attention to hygiene including regular washing of hands using disinfectant will help to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses in general.
  • Those coming back from at-risk areas should self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Schoolchildren returning from the half-term holiday the week before last have been able to remain home and have schoolwork sent to them online, if they had been to at-risk areas during their vacation.
  • The primary at-risk areas at the time of writing are Italy, with over 3,000 confirmed cases, the People's Republic of China (over 80,000), South Korea (close to 6,000) and Iran (just under 3,000). Other locations mentioned in the media include Japan and Singapore, with Spain, France and Germany having experienced over 200 confirmed cases to date.
  • Latvia and Lithuania have both reported one coronavirus case each so far, at the time of writing; Finland's figure has reached double figures.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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