Health Board: Effects of easing restrictions can be seen in 2-3 weeks

Mari-Anne Härma
Mari-Anne Härma Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Mari-Anne Härma, deputy director general of the Health Board, said at a press conference on the COVID-19 situation in Estonia on Wednesday that the effects of easing restrictions will become apparent in two to three weeks.

Härma said approximately half of the infections still occur at home, and it cannot be noted at present that there has been an increase in infections in the workplace. "42 percent of those infected caught the infection at home, 33 percent do not know where they got the infection," she said.

"Now that schools are open, results will not appear until two to three weeks from now," Härma added.

She said the infection rate in Estonia has dropped to 363 per 100,000 people. At the moment the infection is stabilizing, the downward trend has slowed and the infection rate R is 0.9.

"Harju County and Tallinn are on a downward trend, but there are larger workplace outbreaks in the southern region," she said.

Of the places cases are brought in from, Egypt, Finland, Turkey and Spain are in the first place. "The most passengers came from Turkey and Spain, but the number of those infected was not as high as from Egypt," Härma said.

Two new cases of the South African strain were identified and one case involving the Indian strain was identified last week.

"When going on holiday with family, it must be taken into account that the healthcare system in other countries is also frazzled and high-quality medical care may not be possible," she said.

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said that the more people get vaccinated, the better Estonia can face this fall.

"If we have 70 percent protected, we will have a better chance of avoiding major restrictions in the third wave," he said.

Tallinn mayor: Unstable situation has not disappeared

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart emphasized on Wednesday that despite the easing of some coronavirus restrictions, the unstable situation has not disappeared.

Speaking a press conference, Kolvart said he would like to be guided by the analyzes and forecasts provided by scientists.

"But it must be admitted that there are different signals here as well. In any case - regardless of the dynamics, we cannot assume that there is no longer a problem, that the situation has improved and there is no longer any cause for concern," the mayor said.

He said the situation remains unstable. "We don't really know where things are going to go. And we have to do everything we can to keep the restrictions from coming back. And this means that, despite the easing of some restrictions, everyone must realize that nothing has changed on a larger scale," Kolvart said, calling on people to continue wearing masks both indoors and outside.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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