Health minister: Wiser to take greater steps in lifting restrictions
While the government did not make any decisions in January to exit the coronavirus restrictions in smaller steps, it is now reasonable to do so in larger steps, Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) told ETV current affairs show "Esimene stuudio" on Tuesday.
Kiik said that the views of the coalition partners, the Center Party and the Reform Party, on the speed of easing restrictions are indeed somewhat different, but for Thursday's government sitting, the disputes must be disputed before decisions can be made.
Whereas the Prime Minister and the leader of the Reform Party, Kaja Kallas, said on Tuesday that the requirement for a coronavirus certificate for minors could be removed from February 14, then Kiik said that the Center Party believes in removing the restrictions faster.
"Our position is that we need to move at a somewhat faster pace with removing the restrictions, such as losing the certificate requirement," he said, adding that in many cases the two parties have the same views.
"We (the Center Party - ed.) Have now taken an active role. These are not ultimatums, they are proposals and an agreement must now be reached. We are sensible in the proposals, and we do not want all restrictions to be lifted at once. Currently, the expectation is to agree on the date when the certificate will expire domestically," Kiik continued.
Kiik said that the Center Party would agree to a specific date, February 14, if the requirement for a certificate requirement for adults will also be lifted.
"People have been waiting for a long time for the restrictions to be lifted. We have not taken the smallest steps. We didn't bring back the rapid tests, we have had the coronavirus certificate valid outside, which the previous scientific council and I do not consider very reasonable," Kiik said.
He said that a situation where part of society has been removed from many activities cannot last indefinitely.
"The coronavirus certificate no longer carries the same infection control function as it did with some strains did. It does not mean that vaccination should not be continued," Kiik said.
Kiik noted that he is also in constant contact with hospital managers, and although the situation in the hospitals has not improved so far, it has not worsened.
"The need for hospital treatment has been stable for the last two weeks, the need for intensive care has decreased. The main role, of course, is in vaccination, but we also see that omicron does not reach the hospital as much as in previous strains. We do not see any deterioration proposals to gradually get out of these rules," Kiik said.
"At the moment, it is reasonable to start moving gradually. No one thinks it is reasonable to wait, the question is what steps to take," Kiik said.
Kiik estimated that the two governing parties will reach restrictions by Thursday.
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Editor: Roberta Vaino