TALLINN – Hanna Sepp, head of the infection control department at the Estonian Health Board, said at a press conference on the COVID-19 situation on Monday that when it comes to coronavirus infection, Estonia has reached the level it was at prior to Christmas.
According to Sepp, coronavirus cases have been brought in from Egypt. "Those coming from a trip must self-isolate for 10 days, and to reduce this time, it is possible to take a test up to 72 hours before arrival and another test six days after arrival," she said.
"The Health Board has worked hard to identify new strains. Cooperation is underway with the University of Tartu and SYNLAB, and the focus is on sequencing the cases brought in," Sepp said.
Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik said that as the situation concerning the spread of the virus has improved, the phase of exiting restrictions has arrived.
"The option to get vaccinated must be used in any case. Vaccines used in Estonia are effective in reducing serious infections and deaths. People should get vaccinated as soon as possible," Kiik said.
According to Kiik, a record supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected this week, and large vaccine deliveries are arriving in the coming weeks as well. "Vaccine deliveries in May and June will be significantly higher," the minister said.
"This means that we will be able to meet the goals of the vaccination plan and move forward at a rapid pace. The age groups need to be reviewed now so that there is no surplus of the vaccine," he added.
According to Kiik, the vaccination tempo in recent weeks has been 30,000-40,000 doses, and in the coming months, the vaccines reaching the population will be a key issue.
Kiik stressed that it is not common sense to go on holiday to exotic countries at the moment, because it is not known which strains are spreading there. "We currently hold even more responsibility for our actions," he said.