First case of coronavirus diagnosed in Estonia

Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik said that the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Estonia on Thursday morning.

No information has emerged about the novel coronavirus having spread further from the first confirmed virus carrier in Estonia; however, the government is planning to implement additional control measures on the national border.

Kiik noted at a government press conference on Thursday that the virus has an incubation period.

The minister said that the government has set up a task force consisting of secretary-generals or their deputies of various ministries, who have been tasked with coming up with measures for preventing the spread of the virus.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that Estonian consular services also have the task of assisting people, if needed.

"What also needs to be taken into consideration is that additional travel restrictions may be imposed on several regions," he added.

Reinsalu said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be reached by phone around the clock for information on the issue. 

"Altogether 105 citizens of Estonia have at present registered their stay in the risk area," he said. "According to the information we have, there are currently no Estonian nationals in the quarantine areas."

The minister added that the government is planning to establish additional control measures on the national border.

Police, Border Guard Board closes service office in Tallinn for disinfection

The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board closed its service office on Tammsaare Road for disinfection on Thursday after a customer had been taken to hospital to be tested for the novel coronavirus at 12:15 p.m.

The public will be notified of the reopening of the office through the media, spokespeople for the Police and Border Guard Board told BNS.

The hospitalized individual was a foreign national with the symptoms of a cold. They will undergo laboratory testing for COVID-19, and should the results prove positive, the Health Board will begin identifying those they have come into contact with. The Health Board will provide information on the case at the earliest opportunity.

The incubation period of COVID-19 is up to two weeks; however, until the carrier starts exhibiting symptoms, the illness is not highly contagious.