Scientific Council chief: Masks could be worn again in crowded places
Professor Toivo Maimets, the head of the Estonian Government's coronavirus advisory council, known as the Scientific Council (Teadusnõukoda), said in an interview with daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht, that the wearing of facemasks could, once again, become the norm in crowded public places.
"Yesterday (Monday) we had a meeting of the Scientific Council, where we wondered whether, following the example of several other countries, it would be wise to return to masks," said Professor Maimets in an interview with Eesti Päevaleht.
"Given not only the rise in Covid-19 cases, but also the increasing wave of other respiratory viruses, we think it would be time to recommend that, rather than oblige it. We would indeed recommend wearing masks in crowded places, especially on public transport," said Maimets, who is a professor of cell biology at the University of Tartu.
According to Maimets, the choice of measures, which can be introduced to prevent the spread of viral diseases is not especially large and all of those available have been tried and tested over the past three years.
At the same time, Maimets stressed that he agrees with Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise, who says that any measures introduced must be proportionate to the level of risk.
Maimets also expressed hope that there would not be a return to the days when only those who have been vaccinated against the virus were allowed entrance into certain public spaces and venues.
However, he also pointed out that, internationally, the coronavirus vaccine certificate has not gone away and is still a requirement when attending events in some other countries.
Maimets said, that there are currently around 300 people in hospital who have tested positive for the coronavirus, which puts extra pressure on hospitals and medical staff. However, approximately one third of these hospitalizations are a direct result of the virus.
One in every 17 people in the Estonian currently has Covid-19, and most of those have infectious forms of the virus, which can be passed on to others, Maimets said.
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Editor: Michael Cole