Estonian Health Board official: Risk of infection remains very high

  • 2022-01-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Kristian Sirp, head of the emergency headquarters at the Estonian Health Board, said at a press conference on the current COVID-19 situation on Wednesday that the risk of infection remains very high.

Sirp said that the infection rate R was 1.4 this week, compared to 1.35 last week.

"The increase in morbidity among young people is high and it can be expected that there will be an average of 5,000 infections a day in the coming weeks," Sirp said.

According to him, the share of omicron has risen to 89 percent by now and the rest is the delta strain.

"We are currently focusing on people with the delta strain, as they suffer from the disease more severely," Sirp said.

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik said that the omicron strain has led to a situation where the burden of the healthcare system is high and the center of gravity has now fallen namely to the primary level.

According to Sirp, more than 60 percent of hospital beds are currently occupied and there are more than 31,000 active cases.

According to Kiik, people should not confuse the COVID-19 vaccine certificate and the need for vaccination, because these are different things. "Vaccination is for the protection of people and a COVID-19 certificate must not be the main motive for vaccination. Vaccination is to protect life and health," he said.

Karmen Joller, board member of the Family Physicians Association of Estonia, said that it has never been confirmed that the vaccine protects 100 percent against infection, but it definitely protects against severe illness.

"Illness suffered through at home is milder if one is vaccinated. For a long time now, we have been of the opinion that the omicron strain is milder, because there are many people in Estonia who have recovered or been vaccinated," she said.

According to Joller, the priority is to save risk groups that suffer more severely.

"We also do not want to put any vaccination pressure on children or parents, because pressure creates a backlash," she said.