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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 17.06.2021, 22:39

Estonian experts: outbreaks in Europe not constituting 2nd coronavirus wave

BC, Tallinn, 27.07.2020.Print version
While the number of new coronavirus infections has grown in Europe over the past two weeks, the increase has been caused by a few individual large outbreaks that do not constitute a second virus wave, according to Estonian experts, the "Aktuaalne kaamera" evening news program of public broadcaster ERR reported on July 26th, reports LETA/BNS.

"It is too soon to call any of these situations critical -- there are currently two states, where the infection rate is going up as is the number of deaths. These are Romania and Bulgaria," Mari-Anne Harma, acting director general of the Estonian Health Board, said. The number of deaths and infection rates in other states are not exhibiting any trends, Europe is at present relatively stable and the number of tests conducted all over Europe is also growing, she added.

Irja Lutsar, professor at the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine of the University of Tartu, said that the growth in the number of cases may be caused by the virus reaching areas that have thus far largely remained unaffected by it. In Lithuania and several other states, migrant workers have tested positive for the disease. 

Lutsar noted that while a second wave of the coronavirus has emerged in Israel and Australia, in Europe only a few individual larger outbreaks have occurred.

"I think that the problem of the states that are now seeing their second wave was that they introduced their restrictions too early. Their populations had already grown weary of them by the time a real need for the restrictions arose," she said.

While there are also people in Estonia who opine that new restrictions are required, Lutsar does not deem it necessary.

"If we establish restrictions now without really having many infected people, the population will have become tired of them by the time we really need them, and then our restrictions will no longer work," she said. 

In Estonia, the coronavirus is spreading among younger people, the share of people aged over 50 among those infected is 16 percent.

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