Virologist: There is lot of controversial information about coronavirus ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Andres Merits on ETV.
Andres Merits on ETV. Source: ERR

There is a lot of information about the coronavirus but in a lot of cases, it is controversial and doesn't provide a good basis to make decisions on, Professor of Applied Virology at the University of Tartu Andres Merits said on ETV´s morning show, "Terevisioon".

"Information about the virus spreads quickly, but there's a long way to knowledge, there is a lot which is controversial," Merits told the host Liisu Lass.

It is hard to form the whole picture based on fragments of information, especially regarding Italy, he added.

"Europe has reacted with enough strength but in several cases, belatedly," Merits added. "Fighting the virus is going to be hard and sadly will see many victims."

Merits noted that the two serviceable medications, one of them being chloroquine, has shown some usefuleness, but neither of these should be prescribed by Estonian doctors. 

"Estonians have managed to keep the virus away from the risk groups. While there is a large number of infected, only a few are in hospital," Merits said. He added that to evaluate the situation, scientists should have the whole picture, but the information currently has gaps. 

People with symptoms should be tested - it is not possible to fight a virus when the location of it is unknown, Merits added,

 "There are a lot of candidates for the vaccine for the coronavirus but it´s not possible to create a licensed vaccine within three months. [That said] It´s not rocket science to make a vaccine against that type of virus," Merits said.

When should the quarantine be less strict, Merits was asked.

"I´m not sure that the zero point is the critical point, it needs to be the point where the spread of the virus can be controlled effectively, But it is not my decision to make," Merits answered.

By the morning of March 19, 267 people had been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus in Estonia. More than half of these are between the ages of 30 and 49. Most of the patients have mild symptoms. 10 of them are hospitalized but don´t require intensive care.

Since January 31, 2259 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out in Estonia. 

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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