Lutsar: Mass public events should not be held this summer

The Song Festival held in 2019.
The Song Festival held in 2019. Source: ERR

Mass events should not be held this summer, Irja Lutsar, virology professor and head of the government's research council, said on Thursday. The current situation is stable but requires constant monitoring.

Speaking to the Social Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, Lutsar said new cases of coronavirus are growing at less than 10 percent a day and the number of patients admitted to intensive care is falling.

However, there is no decrease in the number of hospital patients yet, which is an important indicator from which to draw conclusions about the trend of infection - a week after the decrease in infections, the number of hospitalized patients should start to decrease.

In summary, the situation is stable but requires constant monitoring.

Lutsar said the current emergency requirements in place are sufficient as long as they are complied with but in some places, they could be relaxed. Farming activities cannot be banned but public events should not be held this summer.

"I don't see any mass events coming up this summer at all," Lutsar said.

Describing the patients in Estonia, Lutsar said three-quarters of all those treated in hospital are over 50, while 13 percent of all infections have been diagnosed in the over 80s. Approximately half of all hospital admissions are from Saaremaa. The average age of those who have died is 80 years old and all had underlying health problems.

The COVID departments of Estonian hospitals have a total of 260 places, of which 80 are currently occupied. Estonia is one of the countries with a high testing rate.

Lutsar admitted that no one knows the role of asymptomatic people in spreading the virus. The test shows the disease stays in the body for a long time, but how long a person is at risk of infection is not yet known.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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