Lutsar: Current restrictions may not be enough to control coronavirus

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Irja Lutsar. Source: ERR / Siim Lõvi

The additional restrictions which entered into force this week to stop the spread of coronavirus may not be enough, head of the government's scientific advisory council Professor Irja Lutsar has said.

"This may not be enough in the current situation. If we look at the current infection rate of more than 1,000 [cases] every day, it may not be enough to control the infection. With more than 1,000 infections, our medical system simply cannot cope with it," Lutsar told ERR on Tuesday morning.

Asked what the council will suggest to the government this week, she said the council still supports the restrictions it proposed last week, which were not fully implemented.

"In general, we will propose the same as we offered last week. Our proposals from last week are known to the public, it came out on Friday and we are more or less offering exactly the same. We see no reason at the moment to make a more lenient proposal," Lutsar said.

Speaking about the closure of shopping malls, she said that young people spend a lot of time in them and the virus is spreading among these age groups.

"You have to buy food, no one is against it, but shopping malls are inevitably shopping places - it's easy to go from one store to another or because the weather isn't very good yet, you can spend time there. And now see very clearly that these are places for young people. We need to limit activities that involve young people. Currently, the generation most affected by the virus is between 30-50 and 30-60," Lutsar said.

She also said it can no longer be said that young people do not end up in the hospital: "We see that the proportion of younger people in hospital is starting to increase. Quite so we cannot say that 30-year-olds do not end up in the hospital at all. So we need to limit the activities that young people do."

Lutsar said she supports unified restrictions across the country, rather than regional restrictions. She re-emphasized the virus is linked to human behavior and changing behavior is what will curb its spread.

The new restrictions can be read here.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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