Defense forces refute coronavirus rumors

Estonian Defence Forces.
Estonian Defence Forces. Source:

Rumors that coronavirus has struck Viru Infantry Battalion in Johvi, northeastern Estonia are not true, the 1st Infantry Brigade told regional newspaper Virumaa Teataja.

Rumors started spreading before noon on Tuesday that quarantine has been imposed at the Viru Infantry Battalion but 1st Infantry Brigade information officer Marina Lostsina said four soldiers are sick but not with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

There is no need for panic, she said.

"There are currently four soldiers at the Viru Infantry Battalion who are showing symptoms characteristic of a cold - a cough, runny nose and a small fever," Lostsina said.

"They have been separated from other conscripts to enable them to recover in peace. This is usual practice where we separate those who have fallen ill from those who are healthy. The soldiers are under the care and supervision of medics," she added.

No coronavirus cases were confirmed at the Ida-Viru Central Hospital in northeastern Estonia.

Rakvere Hospital's head of treatment Liis Otstavel said fortunately no patient with coronavirus has reached the hospital at present. Rumors last week circulated that a patient had been diagnosed with the virus at the hospital.

The hospital is operating according to national guidelines and Otstavel said that cooperation with family doctors is working. They are monitoring patients. "According to current guidelines, patients suspected of having contracted coronavirus should not end up at our hospital," Otstavel said.

Patients with the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus are hospitalized in Estonia either at West Tallinn Central Hospital, Tartu University Hospital, Pärnu Hospital or Ida-Viru Central Hospital.

Otstavel said that, in the next few days, there will be several coronavirus-related meetings for representatives of hospitals where the distribution of specific guidelines will be continued.

Ülo Veldre, head of communications at Ida-Viru Central Hospital, said that if a coronavirus patient is brought to their hospital by ambulance, they will accept them. No coronavirus patients have been brought to Ida-Viru Central Hospital so far, those suspected of having contracted the virus are in quarantine at home.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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