Council preparing 3 scenarios for Estonia's future coronavirus outbreaks

Toivo Maimets.
Toivo Maimets. Source: Riigikantselei

Three scenarios are being prepared for future coronavirus outbreaks in Estonia, the head of the government's scientific advisory council has said.

International organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), are convinced we have not seen the last of COVID-19, Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" evening news show reported.

Now three scenarios are being prepared for future waves, Toivo Maimets, head of the government's scientific advisory council, has confirmed.

These scenarios deal with a mild outbreak, with no restrictions, the outbreak of a new variant and strained hospital services or the third, and most serious, a new variant that existing vaccines have no effect over.

If the third scenario becomes reality, then we are back at square one, Maimets said.

"We also encourage everyone from individuals, employers, municipalities to ministries and everyone else to think specifically about these three scenarios. What do we do when something happens with the second or third? We have called these three scenarios mild, difficult and a new pandemic," the professor said.

The biggest concern for employers is that new restrictions will be brought back to protect the health care system.

Work is underway to strengthen hospitals so severe restrictions are not imposed again, Kristi Talving, undersecretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications told AK.

"Today, we're all used to life continuing as usual, and I want it to stay that way in the fall and winter," she said.

Health Board adviser Irina Dontšenko said studies from other counties will show whether a fourth vaccine dose will be required.

"Life shows that the longer a pathogen wants to stay in our environment, the milder its characteristics and the milder the course of the disease are. This is confirmed by the current strain of Omicron and is also confirmed by other pathogens," she said.

The agency is now planning a new vaccination campaign, negotiations for coronavirus drugs are ongoing and the government will discuss the coronavirus response plan next week.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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