Mathematician: Estonia's infection rate is still rising

Estonia's infection rate - known as the R number - is still above one, meaning the rate of coronavirus infection in the country is continuing to increase, University of Tartu mathematician Professor Krista Fischer said earlier this week.

"At the moment, we can say that R is still above one. The calculation gives an estimate of 1.05, but it may be underestimating the actual value because it has been affected by the lower testing rate during the holidays and, consequently, the lower number of positive tests," Fischer, a member of the government's scientific council, told ERR on Thursday.

Estonia's infection rate from October 29 - December 30. Source: Krista Fischer

Fischer's data from the last two months shows the R rate is on a downward trend in Harju County but is still above one. It has already fallen below one in Ida-Viru County - which currently has stricter rules than any other region in Estonia and is essentially in lock-down. In Tartu, the R number is higher than one and rising.

The R infection rate in Harju, Ida-Viru and Tartu counties. Source: Krista Fischer

The R number is the number of people a person with coronavirus infects. If it is above one, the infection is growing, but if it is below one the infection rate is no longer rising.

When R is 1.05, 100 people will spread the virus to an average of 105 people.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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