Fischer: Coronavirus infection rate is stable, not falling

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Krista Fischer

Estonia's infection rate has reached a plateau but not fallen, member of the government's advisory council and mathematician Krista Fischer has said. Deaths related to coronavirus are also higher than expected.

"The impression the testing data gives, that the infection rate has fallen a bit, can be deceptive - it's a plateau," Fischer told ERR on Monday.

She thinks this is likely because data from the surveillance study did not show a fall in the number of cases as the prevalence of the virus is still the same - over 2 percent - nationwide. The next study is likely to show similar results, she said.

Additionally, Fischer highlighted hospital statistics which show 40 cases are opened on average per day. 

"The number of patients has remained similar, it has not started to fall, and the number of patients entering the hospital every day is the same as it was just before Christmas when the infection was high," she said. "This is quite a lot and it indicates a high background of infection."

Fischer said if the current level of infection continues, then in a month's time the situation will be similar and there will be about 400 people in need of treatment.

The infection rate number - R - is around 1 in Harju but above in Tartu and Pärnu counties meaning the infection rate is rising.

She also said the mortality rate is higher than expected. Looking at the rate of infected people in Estonia, it should mean about one person infected with COVID-19 would die each day but approximately eight people are dying each day.

"Mortality is alarmingly high," she said.

This graph has been taken from ERR New's weekly round-up.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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