Health Board concerned about asymptomatic coronavirus patients

A woman wearing a mask on a tram in Tallinn. Picture is illustrative.
A woman wearing a mask on a tram in Tallinn. Picture is illustrative. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Health Board is increasingly concerned about coronavirus patients who do not display symptoms as more people are presenting this way. The agency said it must be understood why it important to self-isolate in these cases.

Deputy Director General of the Health Board Mari-Anne Härma said there are more infected people who have either very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. These people find it difficult to understand why they should self-isolate or take sick leave.

"Just because they don't have symptoms doesn't mean they can't pass on the infection. We can see a very big danger in that," Härma told ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Friday.

She said there is a risk that asymptomatic patients will spread the infection at work, home, school or on public transport as they will not think it is necessary to follow social distancing rules. Härma recommends everyone wear masks when on public transport.

The increase in asymptomatic carriers does not mean there is a hidden spread of the virus, but that risk could occur in the future, Härma said. She said this is why close contacts - even those who do not have symptoms - will start being tested on day 10 which will give a better understanding of who is and is not infected.

The spread of the virus is constant in Estonia, Härma said, because the number of cases is constantly increasing and throughout the country.

This week the number of new cases of coronavirus have grown and the main sources of outbreaks are at work and home, the Health Board has said.

The majority of new cases have been in Harju County and Tallinn and Härma recommends employers in the northern region pay close attention to the workplace environment and organize testing if necessary.  

As of Friday, there are eight workplace outbreaks in Tallinn and in 15-18 percent of new cases, the source of infection is not known.  


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Editor: Helen Wright

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