Minister: Cabinet to do without Covid advisory council next week

Pubcli administration minister Jaak Aab (Center), at a cabinet meeting.
Pubcli administration minister Jaak Aab (Center), at a cabinet meeting. Source: Government office.

The sudden dissolution of the government's coronavirus advisory council ordered by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) last week means that there will be no discussions involving it in the first week of 2022, public administration minister Jaak Aab (Center) says. The body, dubbed the scientific council, and its former chief, Professor Irja Lutsar, will be replaced, but the new composition won't have had time to convene by next week.

At the same time, this did not mean that other bodies could be consulted on the pandemic, Aab said.

"Even if the first meeting of the [new] scientific council has not taken place by next Thursday, experts can still be asked for their opinion," Aab ​​told ERR Thursday.

"The government follows the proposals and recommendations of various institutions - be it the Health Board, the social affairs ministry, or various other ministries if we are looking at education or business," Aab added.

"It is up to the government office to decide what additional opinions are needed in addition," he went on.

Aab said he hoped the new commission would meet soon and that its new chair, Toivo Maimets, in cooperation with prime minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and health minister Tanel Kiik (Center), would soon be installed.

Aab also said that setting up the replacement council earlier might have been better, though the above bodies' consultations should help plug the gap.

The announcement was made on December 23 that another Tartu University professor, Toivo Maimets, was to replace Lutsar as scientific council chief, while the council's make-up as a whole would be overhauled.

The council was introduced by the Center Party, at the beginning of the pandemic, when it was in office with EKRE and Isamaa.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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