University of Tartu: Holidays doubled spread of coronavirus

A coronavirus social distancing sign (photo is illustrative).
A coronavirus social distancing sign (photo is illustrative). Source: Helen Wright / ERR

The latest stage of a COVID-19 monitoring study conducted by scientists of the University of Tartu shows that the coronavirus has spread in all 15 Estonian counties and its spread doubled over the holidays.

The primary results of the monitoring study, set to be finished by Tuesday, show that about 2.1 percent of Estonian population - every 50th person - is infectious in Estonia. 46 percent of those are asymptomatic and display no symptoms of the coronavirus.

"We could say there are 22,000 people that are infectious carriers of the virus. That is around twice as many than before the holidays," said the head of the survey, the University of Tartu Professor of Family Medicine, Ruth Kalda.

"The spread can be seen all over Estonia. We cannot say there is a county where it is not happening, the picture is colorful everywhere. Ida-Viru County and Harju County, along with Tallinn, stand out in terms of infection but the virus is trully everywhere. A recent sewage monitoring study also showed it is everywhere," Kalda noted.

The monitoring study will have additional samples coming in until the end of the week and a more detailed analysis will be published on Tuesday.

"As of now, 2,121 patients have been tested, there could be another 500. But we have received a bigger picture of the spread already," Kalda said.

The latest stage of the monitoring study started on January 7 and will end on January 17. The goal of the study is to measure and analyze the effect of the holiday period on the spread of COVID-19 in Estonia.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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