Lanno: Infection rate needs to be 0.85 by May for summer to be normal

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Üllar Lanno (left) and health minister Tanel Kiik, at a recent press conference. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The coronavirus infection rate needs to fall to 0.85 by May if life is to return to normal over the summer, the director general of the Health Board said on Friday.

Üllar Lanno said at a press conference the infection rate needs to drop or strict restrictions will still be in place in the summer.

"I invite you to understand the measures that the government has put in place. And not to expect that large-scale sports or cultural events will be organized in Estonia," the director general of the Health Board said.

Lanno said, at the start of 2021, the share of positive tests each day was 10 percent but it has now risen to 20 percent. There are also small municipalities in Estonia where the 14 day infection rate has reached almost 4,000 per 100,000 inhabitants.

He said 64 percent of new cases recorded in the last week were in Harju County and the majority of the county's cases are in Tallinn. Lasnamäe is the main area of concern but the rate is also rising in Mustamäe, Haabersti and North Tallinn.

He said people should not be traveling unless it is necessary. People who need to travel and have already has coronavirus can print out their results through the digital registry and testi.me websites.  

Lanno said family doctors will not issue travel certificates.

Health minister: Pandemic situation still at its peak

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said the pandemic is still at its peak.

"It is a pity that, at several press conferences already, we have had to acknowledge that the situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic is still at its peak and, instead of the stabilization seen at one point, we are seeing a slow rise," he said," Kiik said.

On the more positive side, the minister pointed out that the pace of vaccination is satisfactory. "A total of 212,000 vaccinations have been given and 14 percent of the adult population has received at least one injection. In the coming weeks, vaccination of people aged 60 and over with the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue," Kiik said.

According to the minister, the vaccination rate in Estonia cannot be reduced due to the current situation. "One has to fear the disease, not the vaccine," he said.

Üllar Lanno said that the pandemic situation in Estonia is in a critical phase and the infection is at a very high level. "Wastewater surveys also do not give much hope for the situation and show that we are on an upward trend," he said.

"Before looking at the data from the wastewater survey, I thought that the infection rate in Põlva County and Valga County is five times lower than elsewhere in Estonia, but the wastewater signals show that there has been an increase in Valga County by several measuring points and, in fact, there is a danger there as well," he said.

Police will monitor mask wearing next week

Minister of the Interior Kristian Jaani (Center) said next week the police will focus on wearing masks in public transport in the northern region and monitoring compliance with the 2+2 rule.

He said that the police, in cooperation with the Health Board, have so far detected 14 people who should be in self-isolation but are moving around the city. "While the number is small, it can have a big effect," he said.

Jaani added that over the last week, police supervision has increased by 17 percent and the advising of hospitals and family doctor centers on how to behave in the event of provocative behavior has started.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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