Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) says discussions at the next regular government meeting on Thursday, August 6, may take on a different tone, due to the number of new coronavirus cases rising, and examples emerging of members of the public behaving irresponsibly while infected with the virus.
"The government together with public officials and researchers are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation in order to be prepared to react immediately. At government sittings thus far, we had been happy to observe that the spread had remained low and that the people of Estonia remained vigilant," Ratas wrote on his social media account.
"The tone of the discussion may change at Thursday's sitting, however," he said. The prime minister pointed out that as of last Friday, Estonia's infection rate was 2.6 while at the start of July the indicator was at 1.0.
"There have been 43 cases over the past week, of which 24 were in Tartu County. A different approach to the situation is also prompted by examples indicating that Estonians have forgotten about the coronavirus," he said.
Eleven cases were reported by the Health Board in the past 24 hours; the Tartu outbreak resulted from a coronavirus carrier visiting a nightclub, shopping mall, cinema and two spas there and in Narva, in defiance of coronavirus regulations and best practices, while awaiting a test result, July 18-19.
Ratas also stuck a sombre tone with his post, noting the possible ramifications of a further spread.
"We learned in spring that restrictions to our daily lives could be even more extensive. What's even more important is that the virus has taken 63 mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, aunts and uncles from us," the prime minister noted.
Editor: Roberta Vaino