Estonia is “second in Europe” in terms of new coronavirus infections

According to the director of the Estonian Health Board, Üllar Lanno, Estonia is currently second in Europe in terms of new coronavirus infections.

Lanno said on 23 February that when in the world and in Europe, the infection rate has started to decline, then in Estonia the situation has gotten worse.

“We’re in the second place in Europe. If this will continue, it’s not difficult to become the leader,” he added. According to Lanno, the new infection rate is “significantly higher than in November”, adding that with today’s R rate (1.2, currently, meaning one person infects 1.2 others on average), it’s not very hard to reach 2,000 new infections a day in two or three weeks.

According to the Reuters coronavirus tracker, Estonia is currently “at peak and rising”, showing 449 infections per 100,000 people reported in the last seven days. Reuters says the average number of new infections in Estonia each day reaches new highs – the country is now reporting over 850 new daily infections.

Almost a thousand new cases per day

The Estonian Health Board’s coronavirus dataset shows that things are even worse than what Reuters reports. As of 23 February – the eve of the Estonian independence day – the country registered 962 new coronavirus cases. The number of new cases for every 100,000 people in the last 14 days is 794.67, as of 23 February.

According to Reuters, Estonia has administered at least 88,790 doses of the novel coronavirus vaccines. “Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 3.3% of the country’s population,” the news agency says.

“During the last week reported, Estonia averaged about 2,380 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 112 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.”

A woman wearing a mask in Estonia. The image is illustrative. Photo by Pille-Riin Priske/Unsplash.

According to the Estonian Health Board, the country has as of 23 February administered 91,785 doses of the vaccine, so the Reuters data is fairly accurate. The number of people who have gotten one dose of the vaccine is 64,508; 27,277 people have completed their vaccination cycle.

The situation is more critical than ever before

The Estonian health minister, Tanel Kiik, said at a press conference that there wasn’t enough vaccine to get the spread of the coronavirus under control.

“The COVID-19 situation today is more critical than ever before,” Kiik said, adding that we see that by the number of people who are hospitalised and infected, and the speed of the new infections.

“To get the situation under control we need additional restrictions,” Kiik asserted. He said the Estonian government would continue discussions regarding these restrictions and will come to the decision on 25 February.

There have been 59,407 infections and 553 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Estonia since the pandemic began.

Cover: According to the Reuters coronavirus tracker, Estonia is currently “at peak and rising”, showing 449 infections per 100,000 people reported in the last seven days.

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