The Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, issued a statement on the evening of 15 March, saying she had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Today is the day I join the thousands of Estonians who have received a positive corona test,” Kallas wrote in her Facebook page.
“Like many of you, I took a test to reassure myself and protect my loved ones. I had just a small fever and the positive result was not what I expected – a proof of how insidious this virus is and how vigilant we all need to be to prevent the virus from spreading,” the prime minister said.
“And like many of you, I don’t exactly know how I got infected. After being in close contact [with a COVID-19 positive person], I was in self-isolation for 10 days until last Thursday [11 March]. After the self-isolation, I had a PCR test, which was negative and I felt great. Even afterwards, I worked as much as possible via the internet to reduce contacts. This is also a good example of insidiousness of the coronavirus and its particularly effective infection,” Kallas noted.
“I call on all people to take precautions, wear a mask indoors, reduce contacts with other people, do distance work if feasible and stay at home as much as possible, as the virus is spreading widely,” the prime minister added.
The prime minister to continue work from home
Kallas also said she had notified the people with whom she had had close contacts recently – family members and a small circle of employees. Kallas said she would “monitor her health carefully” and remain at home until recovery, adding that she would continue to work remotely and “the country is still run [by the government]”.
Kaja Kallas, the leader of the Reform Party, became Estonia’s first female prime minister on 26 January 2021.
According to a public survey, carried out from 10-11 March by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and the social research company, Norstat, 54 per cent of the respondents said they were either not satisfied at all or were rather dissatisfied on how prime minister Kaja Kallas was resolving the coronavirus crisis. Thirty-eight per cent said they were either rather satisfied or very satisfied.
Cover: Kaja Kallas. Photo by Stenbock House.