Lutsar: Coronavirus certificates should be more widely used

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Head of the government's COVID-19 scientific council Irja Lutsar. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The government's scientific advisory council is recommending that coronavirus certificates be used more widely in Estonian society, head of the council virology professor Irja Lutsar has said.

In Estonia, it is possible to create digital certificates with QR codes in the Patient Portal that show a person has been either vaccinated, recovered from coronavirus or has recently tested negative.

"It was our recommendation because the health passport [coronavirus certificate] allows us to move forward with things such as major events. It allows us to organize these events because there are already a lot of people who have been properly vaccinated with two doses," Lutsar told ERR on Tuesday.

Lutsar said the certificates should be introduced as soon as possible. She said people have had the opportunity to get vaccinated since May 17 and it has been possible to receive both doses in this time period. There is also no shortage of vaccines.

"Of course there has to be some kind of preparation time, but it doesn't make much sense to stretch it out anymore," she added.

Lutsar said the council meeting on Monday did not make any recommendations to the government about the upcoming autumn. "At the moment, there is no final action plan, but we discussed the topic and everyone was left to think about what the autumn action plan could be like. This is homework for the members of the council," Lutsar said.

She said the number of new cases is starting to rise and that 90 percent of new infections are linked to the Delta virus. However, as many people are vaccinated, the number of people who are seriously ill with the virus has not risen and the number of deaths is low.

This shows that the vaccines currently in use also provide effective protection against the Delta strain, Lutsar stressed. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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