Estonia sees a rise in positive coronavirus tests

On 5 August, the Estonian Health Board reported 22 new positive coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, out of 961 tests taken and being analysed.

Based on the data in the population register, eight positive test results came from Tartu County (seven of which were from the town of Tartu), two from Rapla County and one from Ida-Viru County.

Four of the new cases from Tartu County were related to the so-called Vabank nighclub case and four were related to Naiiv bar case. The two Rapla County cases and one Ida-Viru County case were also related to the Naiiv outbreak. According to adjusted data, the Vabank outbreak currently includes 33 infected individuals and the Naiiv outbreak fifteen infected individuals across Estonia.

Vabank nightclub in Tartu. Photo by Vabank.

Eleven of the positive cases that cannot be linked to a specific county involve sailors from a vessel from which two people have already been hospitalised since 4 August.

As of the morning of 5 August, nine people in Estonia are being treated in hospital due to the novel coronavirus, with one patient on a ventilator.

Less than two per cent of tests have been positive

There have been no new deaths in the past 24 hours leading up to 5 August. The novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of a total of 63 people in Estonia.

A total of 1,948 people have or are recovering from COVID-19 by 5 August. The cases of 1,475 people have been closed (75.7% of the total) and, in the case of 473 people (24.3%), more than 28 days have passed since they tested positive and the individuals concerned are not being treated in hospital, meaning that they are awaiting confirmation of their recovery.

More than 121,000 initial tests have been analysed in Estonia, of which 2,113 or 1.7% of the total have been positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In connection with an increase in the spreading of the virus, the Estonian Health Board has expanded its testing capability with the help of medical services providers from the private sector.

“Thanks to this, anyone who has been referred to testing in Tartu, Narva, and Pärnu is now being tested in new locations. The new locations allow a higher number of people to provide nasopharyngeal coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 samples in more private conditions,” the Health Board said in a statement.

A critical period for the next two weeks, wear a mask

“The next two weeks will be a critical period for Estonia, in the course of which we may be able to get the outbreaks under control if we all act responsibly. The most efficient measure which can be applied to avoid being infected is keeping one’s distance. In crowded places and especially indoors where it is not possible to maintain the required distance from other people, it is advisable to wear a mask,” the Health Board said.

“Closed, crowded spaces should be avoided if possible. Anyone who becomes ill should stay at home, even if their symptoms are mild. People should suspect that they have been infected with coronavirus and contact their family physician if they develop any symptoms. Family physicians have been instructed to refer everyone with a suspicion of COVID-19 to testing.”

The former president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, posted a selfie of him wearing a mask on Facebook and said that now that the number of the cases is growing, everyone should take care of their and others’ health, keep their distance and wear a mask indoors and in crowded places. “The current rise in the cases should make us all worried,” he noted.

The former president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, posted a selfie of him wearing a mask on Facebook and said that now that the number of the cases is growing, everyone should take care of their and others’ health, keep their distance and wear a mask indoors and in crowded places.

COVID-19 – the novel coronavirus – is a droplet infection that is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreading from one person to another as a result of sneezing and coughing or via contaminated surfaces and unwashed hands.

Cover: A woman in Estonia wearing a mask during the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020. Photo by Pille Riin Priske/Unsplash.

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