The wait time to be tested for the novel coronavirus by Kuressaare Hospital paramedics in Saaremaa had reached approximately 36 hours by Saturday morning, hospital leaders decided to begin providing carside testing in the hospital parking lot to those waiting to be tested.
As so many people are concerned about their health, lines of cars formed in the parking lot at times.
Kuressaare Hospital director Edward Laane was unable to say whether carside testing would be a temporary measure in order to help tackle the backlog or whether it would continue in the days to come as well.
Laane added that Kuressaare Hospital believes that anyone who wants should be able to be tested. While the Health Board has previously claimed to the contrary, now that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become more widespread in Estonia, it doesn't consider it necessary anymore.
The hospital director stressed the importance of people remaining at home if at all possible, as the virus is highly contagious. He wouldn't rule out the possibility, based on other countries' experiences, that infection rates could skyrocket on the Western Estonian island.
He also noted that one coronavirus patient from Saaremaa has been taken to Pärnu Hospital on the mainland for treatment.
Under the orders of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), Saaremaa and Estonia's other western islands were closed to all but permanent residents on Saturday, effective immediately.
Editor: Aili Vahtla