Lutsar: COVID-19 situation worsening as public not following restrictions ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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Head of the government's COVID-19 scientific council Irja Lutsar. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The spread of the coronavirus is getting wider because people are not following the established requirements, head of the government's coronavirus advisory council Professor Irja Lutsar says.

"The situation is complicated since the infection rate is not decreasing," Lutsar told ERR Tuesday.

"Although people are saying that they are tired of the restrictions, there are not a lot of restrictions established in Estonia, meaning people are probably tired of waiting for them [to be announced]," Lutsar said.

"We have all admitted that there are some restrictions, but no restriction works when people are not following it. The main problem is that the restrictions are not followed. We would like to emphasize that repeatedly. And some restrictions should be strengthened," Lutsar went on.

"Complying with the restrictions should be strengthened - wearing a mask indoors, working from home where possible, not organizing parties, not inviting friends to visit, not go to shopping centers. These are known rules for the public. If it were possible to get people to comply with them, it would be a great step forward," Lutsar said.

Lutsar added that it should be weighed up how the schools will start operating after the holidays starting this weekend, though she didn't specify which measures would be preferred.

Lutsar also admitted that she is also having questions about how South Estonian smaller hospitals have been unable to stop the spread of the virus. "Probably the training was insufficient, because there is no such problem in the bigger hospitals. Most likely several bigger hospitals that dealt with the patients, reacted fast and set their rules. This a learning point for all of us," Lutsar said.

Lutsar said that if we don't change anything, we won't manage to get out of the virus without a new round of restrictions. "Everythings ends at some point, but it takes time, and it has victims." It is thus more important to comply with the existing restrictions, Lutsar emphasized.

"Secondly we would like communication to change so that people are not always afraid of the restrictions but might think about how it is possible to better operate in the situation, keep in contact with friends, grandparents, how they might go to work, how to do this safely etc. Currently, there is a person in the scientific council who has a much better sense ofsociety, namely Andero Uusberg, who has started to formulate these messages of communication," Lutsar added.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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