Statistician: Situation is not critical enough to restrict society

Krista Fischer..
Krista Fischer.. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Professor of mathematical statistics at the University of Tartu Krista Fischer said although the coronavirus infection rate has risen again, it is too early to talk about creating more restrictions.

Speaking on ETV's entertainment show "Ringvaade" on Wednesday, Fischer said the coronavirus infection rate has increased because life is now relatively unrestricted - children go to school and people can move around.

"Inevitably, this will allow the virus to spread," she said.

At present, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients is being monitored instead of general infection numbers. East Tallinn Central Hospital announced that it will reopen the coronavirus department on Friday, which will limit scheduled treatments in specialized areas such as cardiology, neurology and gastroenterology.

The show host asked Fischer whether the opening of coronavirus departments in hospitals meant that it was necessary to start restricting society again.

"At the moment, however, it is too early to say that the situation would become so critical that we would have to limit society. We have had a number of things happening. First, the virus strain has changed - currently, the Delta strain is spreading the most. But on the other hand, we already have effective tools to prevent infection, namely vaccination, and quite a lot of people have been vaccinated, and this has led to a situation where the infection has not gone up as quickly as the strain could allow. Also, the number of people needing hospital treatment has remained lower than before for the same infection," Fischer said.

Fischer said while the infection rate is now at about the same level as in late November-early December last year, the number of people needing hospital treatment is now lower. This means that hospitals do not have to limit scheduled treatments at the moment.

"If we look at the same time last year, as the infection rate exceeded 500 in late November-early December, then on average, more than 30 people went to the hospital [daily], now we have less than 20, if we look at the weekly averages. And across the country, there are 200 people that need hospital treatment against the coronavirus. As far as I've heard from hospitals, this is not a place where hospitals would limit scheduled treatments," she said.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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