Health Board official: If restrictions established, should be nationwide

Irina Dontšenko in the studio for Vikerraadio's morning show
Irina Dontšenko in the studio for Vikerraadio's morning show "Vikerhommik". Source: ERR/Kadri Põlendik

Irina Dontšenko, adviser to the Health Board's (Terviseamet) epidemological department, says that if coronavirus restrictions are re-established, it should be done nationwide, as if restrictions on establishments were local-only, people would simply go to another city where they are not in place.

Dontšenko told Vikerraadio's morning show "Vikerhommik" on Tuesday that Estonians have divided into two camps - one made up of people who are tired of hearing about the coronavirus and the other consisting of those who fear people are forgetting about it, due to a lack of public discourse. She emphasized that COVID-19 is an droplet infection, which spreads from one person to another.

Dontšenko noted: "As we know, an irresponsible night club goer infected 200 people in South Korea in March."

She said that infection patterns vary, and even light symptoms can be a tell-tale sign of the virus, and urged people to contact their family doctor if there are any suspicions, as testing is still arranged that way.

Dontšenko added: "Actually, as we know, family doctors even send people for testing with the lightest respiratory symptoms."

The Health Board official answered a question on the recent discussion on re-establishing restrictions in relation to a recent outbreak in Tartu. "If we establish restrictions, we need to do so across Estonia."

Dontšenko added that if establishments are closed in some areas, people will just move on to other areas where such establishments are still open.

She said risk of infection at night clubs is not high if requirements are followed and distance is maintained. She also called for people who feel ill to remain home.

A requirement for masks is not on the table currently and furthermore, Dontšenko said the use of masks is made complicated because they have to be worn correctly, adding fashionable patterned masks are not as effective as they should be.

She said: "Using a mask as a safety measure is welcomed, but let's try and remember that a mask should be worn for up to three hours and it should be used correctly; let's not adjust it up-down, from nose to mouth, and vice versa."


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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