Tallinn infection curve does not support claim of the case rate climbing

Apartment buildings in Tallinn.
Apartment buildings in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

ERR has a running tally of the number of new cases of the coronavirus in the capital that does not support Dr. Arkadi Popov's claim that infections are on the rise in Tallinn. There have consistently been fewer new cases over the past week compared to previous weeks.

Over the past week, between last Saturday and Thursday, the number of new cases of COVID-19 have consistently been lower compared to the week before in Tallinn, with the daily number of new cases fluctuating between four and ten.

Four and five people were diagnosed on Saturday and Sunday respectively during the weekend when fewer people are tested. New cases numbered 9, 4, 10 and 7 on Monday through Thursday.

Tallinn's case rate peaked on last Friday, April 17 when 31 people were diagnosed after blanket testing at the Alasi Street homeless shelter found that over half of residents had contracted the virus.

In a situation where the past week's daily number of new cases consistently remained below ten, with the exception of the weekend, the week before last's daily case rate ranged from 11 to 31, not including the weekend, peaking at 16 if we also exclude the April 17 anomaly. This suggests a weekly case rate of over double what we saw between Saturday last and Thursday.

Daily case rate has mostly ranged from 11 to 17 also in previous weeks.

Whence, then, the claim that new cases are on the rise in the capital?

Head of the Health Board's regional department North Ester Öpik says it depends on how one looks at it. Cumulatively, the total number of cases is growing in Tallinn in a situation where it is not in the rest of Estonia.

"We have a steady increase of cases in the capital. These fluctuations should be compared to the figures from other counties. What we are seeing is that Tallinn is showing a steady albeit modest increase in the number of new cases. We also cannot pinpoint a specific source as new cases are registered all over town. They just keep on tricking in, while there are days that produce no new cases in other counties," Öpik told ERR.

"We are still seeing in Tallinn what has become rare elsewhere. Surprising cases where people do not know where they might have caught the virus. Such dynamic is much more modest in other counties, Öpik said.

There are 150 people who are being monitored at home and treated in Tallinn to which number we can add their loved ones for a total of some 400 people. "The concern here is losing control over Tallinn. If we also consider the fact that we do not know the close circles of everyone diagnosed because they have not been tested yet, it is a considerable number of people should they be moving around," Öpik said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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