Health Board: We will not see infection rate dropping by Christmas

Health Board (Terviseamet) deputy director Mari-Anne Härma said there will certainly not be a drop in coronavirus infections in Estonia by Christmas and that gatherings and parties should already be canceled.

Härma said on ETV's political interview show "Esimene stuudio" on Thursday evening: "If we establish restrictions today or reach a plateau, then it will still be another three to four weeks when infection rates will continue to increase until it would stabilize and start to drop. Christmas will certainly not be the period that we will see a major drop in infections."

She said that it is wise to already begin canceling Christmas parties.

Härma said the situation in Tallinn and Harju County is causing the Health Board (Terviseamet) worry, but the situation across Estonia is not that bad yet. "Today is the moment we should begin to act in Tallinn and Harju County. If we do not get any directives of restrictions from the state, then each person can still do something," she said.

The Health Board's deputy director said it is reasonable to not lock down the entire country yet. "We are dealing with the problem when it arises. We did not have the knowledge in spring. Many countries around us were locked because we did not know what we are dealing with. We know more today. We know how it spreads. We did not have the information in spring of what the main locations of infections are, we know today what the main locations are and we can direct measures toward those," Härma said.

She emphasized that the so-called corona detectives help stop the virus from spreading. She added that the healthcare system is also more prepared than in spring. "An extensive team across Estonia is working to make sure these things are thought out and work," Härma said.

Knowing there is wide-scale spread in Tallinn and Harju County, the deputy Health Board director noted that it is only a matter of time when a nationwide spread can be talked about. As of now, the spread in Estonia is limited to regions.

Härma said measures should be implemented in workplaces and public gatherings should be limited. Sufficient distancing is also important.

Härma said restrictions are necessary to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus so that hospitals would not be congested. She added that Estonia is among the least restricted countries in Europe as of now.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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