Estonia's coronavirus infection rate - R - has dropped to 1.05 and is on a downward trajectory, the government's scientific advisory council told the coalition earlier this week. However, mortality will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
The council told the government on Tuesday that the level of infection is still very high but rapid growth has stopped due to the current restrictions. The council's advise was published on Friday.
"The infection rate R is about 1.05 on March 13 and is on a downward trend. The downward trend in the infection rate R is also occurring in the fastest growing regions (Harjumaa, Ida-Virumaa, Lääne-Virumaa, Saaremaa). In the age group 15–19 the infection is decreasing, but in the age group 20– 24 continues to rise," the council said in the briefing.
The need for hospital treatment remains high: "50 percent of those in hospitals are over the age of 70. Mortality will continue to rise for some time to come due to high infection."
The council said restrictions and recommendations have started to have an impact on the infection and it is important to keep them in place to protect the health system.
"If the infection remains at its current level, the medical system will still be in great difficulty. As the highest rates of infection are in younger age groups,
the Scientific Council recommends focusing on influencing narrower target groups."
The council said vaccinations have significantly reduced the transmission of COVID-19 in care homes.
The council also said the widespread criticism of the organization of vaccinations in Estonia is mostly unfounded. "Although the quantities of vaccine deliveries are limited and the deliveries are hectic, the coverage of the vaccine in Estonia is one of the best in Europe."
Editor: Helen Wright