Scientific Board: Government strategy has been correct ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The COVID-19 coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board (Koroonaviiruse teadusnõukoda) has approved the current strategy implemented by the government in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but it is still difficult to predict future developments, head of the board Irja Lutsar said on Tuesday.

A week ago, the council published a report on the impact of the restrictions currently in force on the prevention and control of the spread of the virus. Even though not much has changed since then, it does not mean that the same could be said tomorrow, as the situation is constantly changing, Professor Irja Lutsar of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine at the University of Tartu told ERR after Tuesday's meeting with the government.

The council has approved the current government strategy and restrictions imposed are sufficient for the time being, according to her.

"There have been an average of 30 daily new cases in Estonia for a couple of days now but we have to make sure we don't miss any details," she said.

The chief of the emergency department at the Health Board Arkadi Popov said at a press conference on Monday that medical structures are expecting the pressure to increase in a week or two. It is impossible to predict how long the peak might last, according to Lutsar.

"The cases dropped sharply in China, the peak flattened in Italy but is now also dropping. It's still too early to make any long-term prognoses," she added.

The emergency situation is in effect through May 1, unless the government should decide otherwise. Lutsar didn't want to speculate whether some restrictions might be eased by then. "We can be certain that nothing will change this week but it's too early to say what will happen next and when," she said.

On 20 March, the Government Committee of the Emergency Situation convened a Scientific Advisory Board to gather and to analyse expert information for the Government Committee. Among other things, the impact of the restrictions currently in force on the prevention and control of the spread of the virus will be assessed. Professor Irja Lutsar of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine of the University of Tartu was approved as head of the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board.

The members of the Advisory Board are Kristi Rüütel, Research Secretary of the National Institute for Health Development, chief doctor Peep Talving of North-Estonian Regional Hospital, Professor of Surgical Diseases at the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Tartu, Doctor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tartu Pillerin Soodla and Applied Virologist at the University of Tartu Professor Andres Merits.

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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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