Monitoring study: COVID-19 infection rate falls fourfold in month

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Covid patient sign. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

The freshly finished monitoring study shows that with four weeks, the rate of getting infected with the coronavirus has decreased by four times. 36 percent of adult Estonians now have antibodies, thanks to suffering from the virus or having been vaccinated.

From the study, it can be extrapolated that compared with its predecessor four weeks ago, the number of infected people has decreased by four times. The number of people with antibodies has increased significantly.

"We are currently at quite a good position compared with the situation four weeks ago," leader of the study, University of Tartu's family medicine professor doctor Ruth Kalda told ERR.

Of the adult residents, 36 percent have antibodies, which is almost twice as much as a month ago. 55 percent of them have immunity thanks to being vaccinated and 45 thanks to having suffered from the virus. A third of these people, however, didn't know they had suffered from the virus.

"Half of the way is still left to herd immunity. We will probably reach it by the end of summer," Kalda said.

It also turned out that almost all people who have been vaccinated with two doses have antibodies against the virus. Among people over 65, the percentage of people with antibodies is now 58.

"This will decrease the number of people having to be taken to the hospital. There's light at the end of the tunnel," Kalda confirmed.

0,6 percent of the adult population is still infected. The infection has spread in Harju County, Tallinn, Ida-Viru County and Lääne County. In South Estonia, the situation is better.

Kalda said that the restrictions can be relaxed slowly, but emphasized that the sense of danger shouldn't disappear.

"The situation is not very good. The contacts should be avoided a little bit, during the next month so we could enter June-July with lower indicators," Kalda said. "It is reasonable to remove some restrictions. We should start with schools, this is the most rational. Activities should be allowed in the fresh air. But limiting bigger gatherings indoors and remote working is still justified."

The infection "R" rate is still 0,8, which is good, but the mitigations shouldn't increase it over 1, Kalda said.

"I'm hoping that before midsummer day (June 24 - ed.), the situation should be quite good," Kalda added.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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