Chief of emergency medicine at the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) Arkadi Popov says that the high number of new COVID-19 diagnoses suggests many have not stuck to quarantine rules. Popov recommends wearing masks in public places.
Popov says that people who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients are ignoring quarantine rules that causes the virus to spread.
"The most important thing is for people who have taken ill to stay home, observe quarantine rules. If a person knows they've had contact with someone with the coronavirus, staying at home in strict quarantine is key. The health and income of other people as well as the entire Estonian economy depends on it," the ER chief said.
According to Popov, what we are seeing today is the result of people ignoring quarantine. "Our case rate is growing and our neighbors are taking action – we can see reactions from Latvia and Finland and might find ourselves in isolation in the future," he said.
The doctor says that certain conclusions can be drawn from current outbreaks. "Certain outbreaks we have now suggest that people who were already showing symptoms upon returning from abroad still met several other people. /…/ I believe they did not take [quarantine] seriously," Popov said.
The doctor believes the obligation to wear a mask needs to be seriously considered. "I believe we should be more exacting when it comes to masks in the context of a possible second wave, medics included. Personally, I believe that wearing a mask should become a norm in public places, such as shops and when taking public transport."
Popov is reluctant to refer to a recent spike in infections as the second wave. "Despite seeing 35 new cases today (Saturday – ed.), we are still talking about focal transmission of COVID-19. We do not have, at least I very much hope so, hidden transmission. Extensive hidden spread of the virus would constitute the situation getting out of hand," the medical chief said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski