Prime minister: Estonia should have crisis supplies for at least two months ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (right) and interior minister Mart Helme at a recent government press conference.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (right) and interior minister Mart Helme at a recent government press conference. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The government is planning to build at least two months' stock of medical supplies and equipment, medicines and other goods necessary for a prolonged crisis, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said on Thursday.

Ratas (Center) said at the government's press conference that while Estonia has got the spread of coronavirus under control, no one can say that the illness has been overcome as long as there is no vaccine. 

"We must reckon with it that there might be a second wave," Ratas said.

He said that the government is in the process of getting an overview of the country's stocks of different supplies, foremost medicines and medical equipment. During the past 29 years not a lot of attention has been paid to the existence of long-term supplies, the prime minister said. 

"We wish for there to be supplies for at last two months," he said. 

Interior Minister Mart Helme said all previous governments have taken the accumulation of stocks, no matter whether of medical supplies or food, lightly and presumed that a couple of weeks' supply is enough. 

"Now we suddenly see that it isn't enough," Helme said. 

The Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) minister added that the Ministry of the Interior has accumulated a stock of fuel to take advantage of low fuel prices and is employing the filling stations of the Rescue Board as storage facilities. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Aim is to include Finland in 'Baltic bubble'

It is an objective for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to include Finland in the so-called Baltic bubble foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said at the government press conference on Thursday. 

Reinsalu said that the Baltic bubble, which stands for the free movement of residents of the three countries between these countries, is a unique phenomenon internationally in the ongoing period of movement restrictions. 

"The aim is to include Finland in the Baltic bubble," Reinsalu said.

He said the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are also to discuss options for gradually expanding the Baltic bubble.  

According to the minister, one of the options could be relinquishing the self-isolation requirement for passengers of flights from countries with lower infection levels. 

On Friday, the three Baltic countries will reintroduce freedom of movement for their citizens and residents between the states.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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