Health Board: Daily COVID-19 case rate could hit 400 mid-August
The Health Board (Terviseamet) says it forecasts daily coronavirus rates of between three- and four-hundred from mid-month, at a time when the 'R' multiplier is trending towards rapid growth.
While 1,246 coronavirus cases have been found in Estonia over the past week, the board says this number could break the 2,000-mark in the coming week.
The Health Board had said on July 21 that daily figures would average over 100 in mid-August, meaning it has revised its forecast upwards by a three-to-four-fold rise.
A total of 16 recent outbreaks have been identified in connection with summer events, heading to 228 infections the board says,.
Nine of these outbreaks emerged in the past week, connected with 166 cases. Many of these outbreaks are new and so the case numbers arising from them could grow further still, the board says.
While, the Health Board says, a slightly lower rate of growth can be expected next week, this still amounts to an estimate of 2,000 cases, or a 60-percent rise.
The curve will also be ahead of the new restrictions' effects making themselves known, giving 2,500 per week in mid-August, or 300-400 per day, and possibly as high as 500 per day in the latter half of the month.
The board says that qualifying factors include pace of vaccination, any subsequent restrictions which may come into effect and public responsibility; the latest tranche of restrictions come into effect next Monday and require proof of vaccine, recent negative test or recovery from the virus for entry to events with more than 50 people (indoors) or 100 people (outdoors) – not just spectators or audience members but including staff, performers etc.
Regarding variants, a little over 22 percent of 1,053 cases analyzed in the past week had no known source of origin, while over 9 percent of cases between July 26 and August 1 were imported, from a range of 25 countries of origin, Finland, Turkey and Russia being foremost among them.
Over 1,000 delta strain cases were identified through July, the board says, together with 37 alpha strain cases and three of the gamma variant.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte