North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) is requesting people arriving from coronavirus risk areas and exhibiting symptoms of the virus, such as cough, cold and fever, not to go to the emergency room (Erakorralise meditsiini osakond or EMO).
If a person is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should first either consult their general practitioner or call the family physician hotline 1220 or the emergency number 112.
Board member and medical director of PERH Peep Talving said: "If you have recently returned from a coronavirus risk area and exhibiting symptoms such as a cough, cold and fever, we would ask you not to come to the emergency room but instead consult your family doctor, call the family physician hotline 1220 or the emergency number 112, and you will be instructed on what action to take next. If needed, the patient will be taken to hospital by an ambulance; in Tallinn, patients requiring hospital treatment are admitted to the West Tallinn Central Hospital. If a person goes to the emergency room, the virus may be spread further."
He added: "Considering the ongoing holiday season and the spread of COVID-19 in the world, we would ask for people to seriously consider cancelling holidays to all risk areas."
On Thursday the first patient in Estonia tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). He is currently being monitored in West Tallinn Central Hospital. 11 other tests for the virus have been carried out and all have been negative.
As at February 27, coronavirus risk areas included China, northern Italy, South Korea, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Tenerife, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. More than 83,000 people around the world have contracted the virus.
Visiting patients in inpatient care while exhibiting symptoms of the virus is not allowed.
As various seasonal viruses, such as the flu, are also spreading in Estonia, PERH requests to visit inpatients at the hospital as little as possible.
Visiting relatives while exhibiting any virus symptoms in particular is prohibited as the health of patients with weak immune defense systems may be further endangered. Hospital visits are also not allowed for people who are not suffering from any symptoms themselves but whose next of kin have contracted any viruses
Editor: Helen Wright