57 people have been infected with South African covid strain in Estonia

Mari-Anne Härma.
Mari-Anne Härma. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Fifty-seven people in Estonia have been diagnosed with the South African coronavirus variant, Deputy Director General of the Health Board Mari-Anne Härma said on Thursday.

Speaking on ETV's morning show "Terevisioon" she said most of the cases have been detected in Southern Estonia and 14 of them are related to one specific outbreak.

"It was an incident from Finland where a person infected their family member and then went back to Finland. The family member had no symptoms and was unaware of the infection. They met friends and went to work and infected others. The outbreak has grown to 14 people," she explained.

Härma said the British strain is being identified in most cases of coronavirus but 57 cases of the South African strain have also been identified. So far the Brazilian and Indian strains have not been found in Estonia.

"The Indian strain may reach Estonia sooner than the Brazilian strain as it has already been identified in our neighboring countries," she said, adding it has been already been found in Norway, Russia and Sweden. It was also reported in Latvia earlier this week.

Härma said the best way to identify new strains is testing as thoroughly as possible. But she did not suggest changing the law to make taking a test at the border mandatory for all travelers.  


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Editor: Helen Wright

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