Peep Talving, a member of the government's scientific advisory council, told ERR that there are still more than 20,000 people awaiting for their scheduled treatments, which were suspended during the coronavirus wave in the spring. Treatments will likely have to be suspended again, which will extend the queue even more.
"We will soon have to carefully consider what will come of scheduled treatments and I think restricting it will become unavoidable," Talving commented on the nearly 30 percent increase in coronavirus infections over the last week.
Talving said 21,600 are still queued for scheduled treatments, which were suspended during the coronavirus wave in spring. "These are our neighbors, family members, friends and relatives who are unable to go and get their hip joints replaced," the scientific council member said.
Talving believes Estonia will take note of other Baltic countries and will begin making vaccinations mandatory in some target groups and categories. He pointed to the ambulance service in Tallinn, which made vaccinations mandatory in spring.
Unvaccinated people are subject to strict restrictions in Latvia and Lithuania and these people cannot work in certain sectors. "If we are not close to 80-90 percent with vaccination coverage, we will all serve this virus, there's nothing else to do," the doctor said.
"I believe the decision of vaccinations being mandatory in some groups will be made in Estonia some day," Talving added.
He said that the Health Board and Ministry of Social Affairs will begin discussing implementing the respective measures next week and noted that restrictions do not solve the problem, but only delay it. Talving said the only solution to the coronavirus crisis is getting vaccinated.
"Everyone without a clear contraindication - and there are few of these people - should go and get at least one [vaccine] dose," Talving said. "This first dose is so important and it would bring us out of this catastrophe. People, please get it together, go get vaccinated and protect our feeble and sick."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste