Fischer: Thursday's record high covid cases were result of lab backlog

Krista Fischer
Krista Fischer Source: ERR

Thursday's unexpectedly high number of new coronavirus cases was the result of a backlog of tests in the lab, mathematician and member of the government's scientific advisory council Professor Krista Fischer told newspaper Eesti Päevaleht.

The 374 new cases, which were mainly from tests given on Wednesday, included samples from Monday and Tuesday, Fischer explained to the newspaper's LP section on Thursday.

"Apparently there is a small queue in the lab," Fischer said. "But the time lag is not very big. Estonia has even done well."

Media relations specialist at the Health Board Merilin Vernik said a sample is shown in the agency's statistics when the positive or negative result is entered into the system, not when the test is carried out.

Fischer said fewer samples are taken on weekends and the effect is then felt in the middle of the week.

She said the general trend is best seen by comparing weeks rather than days, for example comparing Thursday of this week with Thursdays of previous weeks.

"The number of people infected has steadily doubled since mid-October," Fischer said.

She said the R rate - how many people an infected person infects - is currently between 1.2 and 1.5, which means that one infected person infects an average of 1.5 people.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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