Since the number of hospital patients has been increasing and people needing hospital care are mainly patients belonging to risk groups, coronavirus restrictions need to be stricter, Tartu University's head of crisis committee, Doctor Joel Starkopf, told Vikerraadio Thursday morning.
Starkopf explained that every sixth patient on active treatment has a COVID-19 positive diagnosis.
"As of today, most South Estonian hospitals have at least some COVID-19 positives, starting from Viljandi hospital and finishing with Tartu University clinic," Starkopf said.
He added that deepening the restrictions is therefore inevitable. Starkopf highlighted that in the hospitals, over 70 percent of the patients are over 40, while 40 percent are aged over 80.
"When we manage to get patients vaccinated, then the hospitals' workload will decrease and we can then relax the restrictions," he added.
Starkopf stressed that scientific studies don't reveal that schools are the most likely location for the virus to spread, but it should be taken into consideration that the number of school outbreaks is increasing anyway. Students can bring the virus home and infect their elderly family members, he said.
"Panic is never a good helper. We will manage with different situations, but I can say that for two months hard and serious work has been done."
Editor: Roberta Vaino