Scientists granted funds for next wave of COVID-19 studies ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Tram stop in Telliskivi, Tallinn.
Tram stop in Telliskivi, Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

On Thursday, the government decided to allocate €880,000 from its reserves to continue with nationwide coronavirus monitoring studies in November and December.

The last stage of coronavirus spread research conducted by Tartu University scientists concluded in early-October and the results showed that the coronavirus can spread outside of the focal points of outbreaks, often without being noticed.

The allocated amount allows for four waves of the study to be completed in November and December this year. The monitoring study will be conducted within a random sample, chosen from adult Estonian citizens, allowing for a representative view of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In addition, risk behavior and its changes are investigated. Due to the results of the studies, hidden spread in Ida-Viru County was discovered in early-September, leading to a similar discovery nationwide.

Tartu University scientists have conducted eight waves of the study since spring and have tested and questioned some 21,000 people. Six waves were nationwide and two were conducted regionally in Ida-Viru County and Tallinn.

The study team, headed by Dr. Ruth Kalda, has written up summaries of each study which they have presented to the government for restriction assessment and changes.

In addition to the monitoring study, a study on sewage water will also continue, allowing to discover virus spread before testing.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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