The number of confirmed caes of COVID-19 coronavirus in Estonia was reported to have risen significantly March 6, with some of those patients affected seemingly linked by being aboard a flight from Italy to Latvia last week.
As reported by ERR News : “The total number of cases of COVID-19 coronavirus detected in Estonia has risen to ten. Of the latest cases, the two announced earlier this morning were on the same flight from Bergamo, Italy along with two cases identified earlier in the week. Five more confirmed cases have been reported since then.”
The Estonian Health Board has itemized all those Estonians on the Bergamo-Riga flight on February 29 and analyzed a total of 10 samples on Thursday.
In all, the Health Board has analyzed 183 samples, of which ten have been come up positive, and the remaining 173 negative.
The total number of samples is similar to the number carried out in Latvia (186), where a single case has has so far been detected – also involving an individual returning to Rīga from northern Italy.
As a result, a press conference in Rīga Friday afternoon was told that a decision had been made to add the whole of Italy to the list of coronavirus affected zones, rather than the limited northern regions of the country that have been considered a potential source of infection so far.
Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) department director Juris Perevoščikovs informed the press that it was decided to include the whole territory of Italy because “Most cases reported in European Union countries involve travel to Italy. As a result, patients returning from any part of Italy will be investigated starting tomorrow.”
Perevoščikovs also said that while it remained possible the number of cases or coronavirus in Latvia might be expected to rise, there were some tentative signs from Wuhan in China that it might have already peaked in the city that is its epicenter.
It is now the case that Italy, China, South Korea, Iran, Japan and Singapore are all regarded as affected zones and travel to these destinations is not advisable, while those returning to Latvia from these countries should carefully monitor their health and call the emergency number 113 if flu-like symptoms emerge.
In addition the SPKC is operating a Latvian-language information line on 67387661.