Health Board: Estonia's R rate falls to 0.86

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A nurse administering a PCR coronavirus test. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

Estonia's infection rate - R - has dropped to 0.86 across the country and the number of new cases has fallen to between 100-200 each day.

Last week the R rate was 0.92, not far off 1 meaning the infection rate would soon have started to rise, the Health Board said in its weekly overview.

The regions with the highest infection rare were Ida-Viru County (581.7 infected per 100,000 people), Valga County (521.2), Pärnu County (316.8) and Tartu County (222.4).

The infection rate increased in Valga County by 14.9 percent pushing the region's R rate to 1.05. The rate fell in Pärnu, Ida-Viru and Tartu counties.

The number of new patients fell in all age groups except the over 80s, which increased by 7 percent. The largest increases were in Valga and Ida-Viru counties where the infection rate of over 80s in the lowest. The virus was mostly spread by family members or in health care institutions.

The decrease in the number of patients was the largest in the age groups 65-69 years at 43 percent.

Infection sources 

The sources of infection were known in almost 70 percent of cases and unknown in 30.6 percent of cases, an increase from 28 percent the week before.  

The majority of new cases - 39 percent - were spread by family members, 9.5 percent were caught at work and 8.4 percent from acquaintances, 3.2 percent were from traveling abroad, 5.6 percent were caught at school, 2 percent from the Defense Forces and 1.3 from health care or welfare institutions. This is similar to the week before.

There were 105 outbreak sites, four less than the week before. There was an increase of outbreaks at schools and kindergartens, which is likely to be related to children being allowed to go back to school.

Forty-five cases were introduced from abroad from 15 countries and the majority of cases came from Finland (eight), Egypt (seven) and Russia (seven).  

After sequencing, 91.7 percent were found to be from the UK strain. There is no spread of the South African strain in Estonia.

Symptoms and hospitalization

Last week, 11.1 percent of cases were asymptomatic and 88.9 percent were symptomatic.

135 people were being treated in hospital, 5.6 percent lower than the week before. The highest number of patients in hospital this year was 727 on April 5.

Currently, in 6.8 percent of cases, people need to be treated in hospital.

Last week, 14 employees of health care institutions were diagnosed with coronavirus, three more than in the previous week, and seven were unvaccinated.

The patients included two doctors, four nurses, five carers and three other staff.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,787 employees of health care institutions have fallen ill in Estonia. These include 210 doctors (12 percent), 715 nurses (40 percent), 373 caregivers (21 percent) and 489 other personnel (27 percent).

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Editor: Helen Wright

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