Coronavirus round-up: October 18-24

Anti-vaccination protesters gathered on Freedom Square in Tallinn on October 23, 2021.
Anti-vaccination protesters gathered on Freedom Square in Tallinn on October 23, 2021. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Last week, there were 9,988 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed across Estonia compared to 7,999 the week before. There were 40 deaths - the highest number since April

This article brings together the most important news and data about the coronavirus situation in Estonia from the last week. The data is taken from the Health Board and Koroonakaart.

In the article you can find the following information:

  • Weekly news overview;
  • The total number of new cases diagnosed by week;
  • New cases by day for October 18-24;
  • New cases by county by week;
  • Total number of positive and negative tests by week;
  • Deaths of covid-positive patients by week;
  • Vaccinations by week.

Overview: This week, the government realized the coronavirus crisis hadn't disappeared as hospital after hospital canceled planned treatments to open new covid wards.

The healthcare situation is now at a "critical level". As of Monday morning, 516 coronavirus patients are being treated in hospitals across the country.

Healthcare professions are exhausted and staff shortages mean the maximum number of coronavirus patients that can be treated is around 600, experts have said.

This is approximately 130 fewer than during the spring peak.

It is expected capacity will be reached by the start of November.

In response, the government introduced new restrictions from Monday (October 25). It is no longer possible to enter venues with a negative test and the requirement to wear a mask must be enforced. They will last until January 10, 2022.

Experts believe these rules do not go far enough and said a lockdown should be considered. Restrictions targeting the whole of society, not just the unvaccinated, cannot be ruled out.

President Alar Karis called on everyone to do everything they can to help reduce the burden on the healthcare system. However, on Saturday, thousands of people attended an anti-vaccination rally in Tallinn.

The University of Tartu's latest wastewater study shows the rate of coronavirus is at a record high and will rise in the coming weeks.

Estonia has the second highest 14-day infection rate in Europe, Postimees reported.

New cases by week: There were 9,988 new cases reported last week - an increase of almost 2,000 - the highest number since the spring. The week before 7,999 were reported.

On Monday, the 14-day infection rate was 1,353.3 per 100,000 people. Last week the number was 1,087.2.

New cases by day: More than 1,000 cases were reported every day last week - even Sunday, when there are usually far fewer new cases as testing drops over the weekend.

The highest number - 1,787 - is comparable to the spring peak in March. It is assumed a new record high number of cases will be set in the coming days.

The R rate is still above 1, meaning the infection rate is still rising.

The week before there were more than 1,000 cases on six days.

New cases by region: The highest number of cases were recorded in Harju County with 3,918 cases compared to 3,223 last week.

Tartu County had the second higher number of cases with 1,180, followed by Pärnu and Ida-Viru counties, with 988 and 955 respectively. Lääne-Viru and Võru counties had the next highest number of new cases.

The below graph shows the countries with the highest rates. Click the colored dots to remove data from the graph.

Number of tests: There were 9,988 positive tests and 47,682 negative tests carried out.

This gives a total of 57,670 and the positive share of tests was 17.43 percent, compared to 16.22 percent last week.

Hospitalized patients: This graph shows the number of patients in hospital every Monday morning for the last month. This week, the figure was 516 compared to 408 last Monday and 278 the week previous.

Experts have said Estonia only has the staffing capacity to treat 600 coronavirus patients.

At the peak in spring, there were 737 patients receiving treatment, but it will not be possible to treat so many this time due to staff shortages.

Deaths of covid positive patients: There were 40 deaths last week - the highest since mid-April. There were 29 the week before.

The total number of deaths is now 1,469.

Number of vaccines administered: The number of people vaccinated for the first time was 10,720, double the week before. The total number of doses - first and second - given was 15,882.

Additionally, 10,823 booster doses were administered.

The vaccination rate by age group can be seen below.

How can the spread of coronavirus be stopped?

  • The most efficient measure is keeping your distance.
  • Wear a mask in crowded places.
  • Closed, crowded spaces should be avoided if possible.
  • Hands must be washed frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • If you develop symptoms stay at home and contact a family doctor.

Coronavirus data

You can find more data about coronavirus in Estonia on the Health Board's website or at koroonakaart. Both websites are in Estonian, Russian and English.

Note to readers

Feedback is welcome, as are suggestions for data we can show or stories we can tell. Email: helen.wright@err.ee

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Editor: Helen Wright

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