Health Board official: COVID marathon not over yet

Mari-Anne Härma and Tanel Kiik. Source: ERR

Deputy Director General of the Estonian Health Board Mari-Anne Härma said at Wednesday's press conference that the current situation with COVID-19 is exhibiting signs of stabilization; however, it will be some time before a rapid decrease takes place.

"The COVID marathon is not over yet, but the longer part is definitely behind us. Infections have stabilized in Europe and are exhibiting a downward trend. It will be some time before we see a rapid decrease, however. Meanwhile, Europe has been subject to extensive restrictions already since October," Härma said.

The Health Board official said that signs of stabilization are also present in Estonia; however, the past day saw 723 new infections and the infection rate for the past 14 days now is 550 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

"The intensity of new infections is high with only East-Viru County exhibiting a slight downward trend," she added.

"Naturally, we can expect a slight rise in the near future as fewer tests were carried out over the holiday period," Harma noted.

Broken down by age groups, the virus was mainly contracted by working age people; however, the number of cases in which the infection was transmitted at the workplace was smaller than usual and the number of close contacts, too, has decreased sharply during the school break.

"There were more cases brought in from abroad -- from Russia and Finland -- during the holidays. 119 cases were brought in last week," Harma said.

While mortality in Europe has stabilized, it still exhibits a growth trend in Estonia. The average age of a patient who has died of the virus is 79.2 years. 

"There is currently no excess mortality in Estonia," she added.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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