Chancellor of Justice: Too-strict coronavirus measures could backfire

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise.
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise is calling on people to remain reasonable in their fight against the novel coronavirus and warned that too-strict measures could lead to people starting to hide their illness and leave.

"We shouldn't treat the virus too carelessly," Madise wrote on social media. "It is worth implementing measures that actually help against bringing in the virus and its spread here. Excessive strictness could cause a backlash: people would start hiding their illness, sick and well people alike may start fleeing quarantine areas, etc. Let's be reasonable!"

According to the justice chancellor, Estonia can halt the spread of coronavirus constitutionally and by caring for people if everyone makes the effort. "The spread of the virus is dangerous, and very many people falling ill at once especially dangerous," she warned.

The Estonian government will declare a state of emergency if and when society's way of life must be decisively altered in order to combat mass infection with the virus.

"Then people can be required to work, things can be expropriated or taken into use, a strict quarantine can be imposed, and much more," Madise described. "Estonia has yet to declare a state of emergency, and if everyone makes the effort, it won't do so now either."

In case of the risk of infection, Estonian law allows for the restriction of movement, cancellation of public events, increase of control measures at the border, as well as anything else necessary. According to the Health Board, the majority of those who have come in contact with the virus are responsible and care about themselves and those around them. "Keep it up! When coughing or sneezing, it is caring to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, scarf or sleeve to stop anything from spreading," Madise wrote.

The chancellor of justice stressed that guidelines and recommendations from the Health Board and doctors are meant to be followed.

"In case of illness or suspected infection (including upon return from an at-risk area), one should remain at home," Madise wrote. "Kindergarten, school, work, choir, gym, movies, theater and other events once the danger has passed. A family doctor will issue a sick leave certificate if needed. Logical: getting sick at work, school or kindergarten means fairly definitely infecting others."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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