Government Covid advisory board head: Organization's role needs redefining

Irja Lutsar, chief of the government's coronavirus advisory council.
Irja Lutsar, chief of the government's coronavirus advisory council. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Chief of the government's scientific council - its coronavirus advisory body - Professor Irja Lutsar says that the role of the council in solving the coronavirus crisis should be redefined, since the initial tasks of the council facing it when it was set up have been resolved.

"These problems are of course what the council was initially founded for, have been solved as of now and the council can't contribute anymore, but there can be new challenges," Lutsar told ERR.

"However, the role of scientists and the government should be redefined," she said.

"To function as we have functioned for two years, to work at two jobs at the same time and all weekends, it's probably not sustainable and unnecessary as well," Lutsar said.

Lutsar said she was already aware that another professor who sits on the council, virologist Andres Merits, was going to quit the group, for two months. Lutsar wasn't able to say Friday whether Merits' position will stay empty or if he will be replaced.

Lutsar said that a conflict shouldn't be looked for in the Merits situation. "There isn't a conflict. There has never been and there will never be," Lutsar said.

The scientific council includes Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Tartu Krista Fischer, Senior Research Fellow in Affective Psychology, Institute of Psychology at the University of Tartu Andero Uusberg, Chief Physician of the North Estonian Regional Hospital Peep Talving and the University of Tartu's doctor at the Clinic of Infectious Diseases Pilleriin Soodla.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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