Advisor: Estonia going overboard with coronavirus testing

Former Health Board chief of emergency medicine Martin Kadai.
Former Health Board chief of emergency medicine Martin Kadai. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonia has gone overboard with coronavirus testing and the international rankings should be forgotten, Martin Kadai, adviser on health to the Chancellor of Justice, has said.

Kadai, formerly head of the Health Board's emergency department, told Postimees in an interview published on Monday, there is no need to test people who do not show coronavirus symptoms.

He highlighted Finland as an example where people who have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus do not need to get tested even if they have symptoms.

"If a person develops symptoms, they have to behave as they should - by protecting themselves and others. But they do not necessarily have to be tested," he told the newspaper.

Kadai said extensively testing asymptomatic people is questionable because it is not possible to entirely eradicate the virus.

He said, since the start of the pandemic, the statistics have been measured by how diligently countries look for the virus, so if countries have low testing rates this may not reflect the real situation.

Estonia currently has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the world, Postimees reported. The 14-day infection rate is 1,736 per 100,000 people. The vaccination rate for the whole population rate is 57.8 percent.

In comparison, 80 percent of people are vaccinated in Finland and the 14-day infection rate is 132.28 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Looking at the share of positive tests found, Estonia has a 7-day average of 21.9 percent, Lithuania's is 15.9 percent and Latvia's 9.7 percent. Finland's is 6.9 percent. The data was taken from the Our World in Data website.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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