Lanno: Rising infection rate has moved from north to south Estonia

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Üllar Lanno. Source: ERR

Director General of the Health Board Üllar Lanno said on Wednesday that the main outbreaks of coronavirus have moved from north and central Estonia to the south.

Speaking during an interview on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" about why not all children cannot yet return to school, he said the level of infection in Estonia is uneven, that people must be treated equally and restrictions cannot be relaxed by region.

"If we look at the general trend of infection in Estonia, it is quite uneven. And today the pain point has moved down from Central Estonia towards Southern Estonia," he said.

"The question often arises that if the infection rate is low, why not do something more to loosen or offer more opportunities in a certain place. But if we want to treat people and children equally in this already relatively unequal situation, then these decisions should still be made evenly across Estonia."

Lanno said in other countries when children have returned to school the infection rate has increased and the virus has spread. He said the restrictions must be relaxed carefully so more restrictions do not need to be created.

He did not say if the rise in the infection rate due to the school holidays had stopped but said the results will be seen around May 15.

Lanno said the infection rate - R - has already risen above 1 in Pärnu and Tartu counties and it would not be difficult for this to spread elsewhere. Currently, the lowest level of infection rate is in Harju County and Northern Estonia.

He said 90 percent of the cases diagnosed are from the British variant of covid-19. 

On the government's traffic light scheme, Estonia is currently in the orange zone which means the risk level is high.

There are currently restrictions on indoor and outdoor sports, youth work, hobby activities and hobby education, refresher training and continuing education. On Monday, restrictions were eased on restaurants, schools and shops.

Earlier this week it was reported the infection rate - R - has risen to 0.9 and maybe even 0.95. If the rate rises about 1 then the infection rate will start to grow again.

The number of new cases dropped by 9 percent last week, far below the 20 percent it had dropped in previous weeks.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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