Social minister: Survey puts infection rate at 0.4 percent of population

Coronavirus testing at Tallinn Airport (photo is illustrative).
Coronavirus testing at Tallinn Airport (photo is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The ninth round of University of Tartu scientists' coronavirus survey suggests that around 5,000 people or 0.4 percent of the population has COVID-19 in Estonia, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik said, citing University of Tartu family medicine professor Ruth Kalda's overview.

Kiik said that the survey's random sample of 2,000 people produced nine positive diagnoses. The final results are not in yet.

"It demonstrated that we still have asymptomatic carriers of the virus that in turn means people need to take care in public places and when taking public transport," the social minister said.

Kiik said the survey results were to be expected.

"We can conclude that while we do not have hidden spread on a massive scale, the total number of infected people remains higher than statistics reflects. The goal is to reach a situation similar to this summer where random sample testing did not produce a single COVID-19-positive person during some rounds," the minister said.

"It is not as realistic in the fall-winter season, but it is what we need to aim for."

The cabinet decided on Tuesday that Estonia will join the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine prepurchase contract, meaning that Estonia will reserve the right to buy enough doses to inoculate 300,000 people.

"The most optimistic forecasts suggest Pfizer and BioNTech could secure a sales permit inside this year," Kiik said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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