Health Board: International events in Estonia should be postponed

Health Board's press conference,
Health Board's press conference, Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Health Board (Terviseamet) says that the upcoming international events due to be hosted in Estonia should be postponed to the second half of the year, due to the spread of coronavirus.

The Health Board's decision was made as to the result of the epidemiological situation in Europe and Estonia and the wider world.

Health Board Karena Leiger adviser said the spread of the virus in Europe demonstrates that international events might help propagate the virus.

"These are primarily events where participants from the risk areas are expected are discussed in the matter," Leiger said, adding the elderly and those with chronic illneeses should avoid public events while the coronavirus spread continues.

"People exhibiting coronavirus symptoms are not allowed to participate in public events," Leiger added.

In fact, all 13 of Estonia's current coronavirus cases are quarantined, mostly at home but at least one also in hospital.

All of the cases reached Estonia from abroad; the first, on February 26, came as an individual returned from Turkey, flying into Riga. All the remainder, including one schoolchild, had been in northern Italy and returned by plane, many of them on the same flight on February 29.

The organizers of local events, which may still go ahead, should ensure the presence of health care personnel and that staff' have protective equipment (protective mask, gloves, etc.) In addition, they need to ensure that there is a facility to measure the body temperature of people suspected of being infected. There also need to be rooms available to isolate the infected temporarily, within the locations of the events.

The organizers additionally need to ensure quick and easy access to hand disinfectants in visible places (such as corridors, competition areas, changing rooms, toilets).

When arranging the accommodation, participants from the same region should be accommodated in the same complex or floor where possible to simplify the isolation of the infected if needed. The organizer needs to ensure that public surfaces such as handles, door handles and dining tables are clean. 

The toilet must always be equipped with handwashing detergents and a waste bin with a foot pedal. Water faucets should also be disinfected regularly, the Health Board says.

One major international event in Tallinn, the annual Tallinn Music Week, was scheduled to take place from late March but has been postponed to August, and other postponements and cancellations are likely in the near future.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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