President Kersti Kaljulaid returned to Estonia from the United States on Saturday amid a coronavirus scare at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference she had attended in Washington late last week. However, she and the rest of her delegation have tested negative for COVID-19.
"As of now it has become clear that we did not come into contact with any infected people while at AIPAC," the president wrote on her own social media account at the weekend.
"Negative samples were returned from the entire delegation. and no one has exhibited any symptoms. So as the new week begins, work will continue at its usual pace," the president added.
Two people were diagnosed with COVID-19, with the news emerging before the president and her delegation touched down in Estonia.
The news meant that she was unable to attended the 30th anniversary of the Congress of Estonia, the grassroots parliament which formed part of Estonia's drive for independence from the Soviet Union. As reported on ERR News LINK, her address was read by an actor.
"When we arrived in Estonia, it was not yet possible to say with certainty whether we had been exposed to infected persons, so after consulting the authorities and doctors for a risk assessment, I decided not to attend the Congress of Estonia anniversary."
"I did this with a very heavy heart, but it is better to be safe than sorry, right? Virus samples were also taken from the whole delegation," the president continued in her social media post.
The president also noted the importance of taking similar precautions, and praised Estonia's healthcare system.
"Naturally, we closely monitor our people's health, and I encourage everyone to do so. It is also worth following Health Board recommendations regarding both hand washing and other relevant aspects. In case of doubt, it is always worthwhile contacting specialists and listening to their recommendations. The Estonian health care system and the people working there are of a very high standard," she went on.
At the time of writing, 10 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Estonia; the bulk of them had been on a flight from Bergamo, Italy on February 29.
Two New Yorkers who attended the AIPAC conference in Washington tested positive for coronavirus, according to media reports Friday.
President Kaljulaid had been on a working visit to the U.S. last week, which included meetings in Washington with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Donald Trump's advisers Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Robert O'Brien.
Editor: Andrew Whyte