Health board: 'Teachers, please do not go to school with symptoms'

Mari-Anne Härma.
Mari-Anne Härma. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Most of the children infected with coronavirus contracted the disease at schools where teachers have gone to work with symptoms, Mari-Anne Härma, head of the Infectious Diseases Surveillance and Epidemic Control Department of the Health Board (Terviseamet) said.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Härma said there are a total of five school outbreaks in Estonia and 70 people have become infected.

"An important factor in these outbreaks is that we have teachers with symptoms of the disease who go to school and infect children," said Härma, adding the infection does not spread as easily from child to child.

Härma said schools should consider whether using meeting rooms are necessary in the current situation. 

"Teachers, please do not go to school with symptoms," Härma emphasized.

There is no hidden spread in Estonia

Härma said the number of tests performed last week fell slightly compared to previous weeks but a large amount is still being carried out.

She said people are mainly catching the virus at work and at home. The growth of infections among 20-29-year-olds has started to slow down.

"The focus has shifted from younger people, mainly to the working age population," said Härma, adding that the growth of hospitalized people is in the 50-year-old and above age group.

The share of cases imported from abroad is not increasing, Härma said, adding that the absolute number has remained the same. 

Popov: Infection is growing rapidly among people over 50

Although the number of infections recorded in Estonia has decreased in recent days, this does not mean that we have passed the peak of the infection curve, Arkadi Popov, medical manager of the Health Board, said on Wednesday.

Popov said: "Today, I'm not sure we've passed the top of the morbidity curve." He said the lower number of infections in recent days can be deceptively reassuring.

"People see that there aren't many people in hospital and then there is a deceptive feeling that everything is fine and the coronavirus is no longer dangerous. I have to say that this is not the case. Those who are in intensive care today are proof that the coronavirus is as difficult as in the spring," said Popov.

He said vigilance must not be lost among young people simply because people over 50 are now becoming infected in the highest numbers. Popov said 40-41 percent of patients are now older than 50.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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