Number of coronavirus cases climbs to 135

Health Board infections laboratory, where coronavirus tests are conducted.
Health Board infections laboratory, where coronavirus tests are conducted. Source: Government Office.

By Sunday morning, Estonia had confirmed 135 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 62 people testing positive in Harju County, 37 in Saaremaa, 13 in Pärnu County, nine in Võru County, six in Tartu County and eight in Virumaa.

The Health Board in cooperation with emergency response and hospitals has an overview of the situation and condition of patients. All but one coronavirus patients are being treated at home.

Considering the virus is now spreading inside the country, there will be other cases, the Health Board said.

The board considers the likelihood of the disease becoming widespread in Estonia to be average.

The disease can be diagnosed in Health Board, Tartu University Hospital, Synlab, North Estonia Medical Center, Ida-Viru Central Hospital and Pärnu Hospital laboratories.

Considering the spread of the virus, it is no longer expedient to test patients exhibiting mild symptoms of viral diseases. To spare healthcare resources and ensure vital services, efforts will concentrate on risk groups, healthcare workers and others maintaining vital services, the board communicated.

The Estonian healthcare system has been switched to level 2 preparedness, allowing hospitals to postpone regular care and concentrate on treating severe cases. Emergency response will also be prioritizing calls.

Estonia's main focus is to prevent the spread of the virus in risk groups (elderly and people with chronic conditions). Raising healthcare awareness is crucial, the board said.

People are urged to observe hygiene rules and avoid close contact with others if possible, avoid traveling and stay home.

The government said on Saturday evening that only people who permanently live there can travel to the islands of Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, Muhu, Vormsi, Kihnu and Ruhnu. People currently on the islands are allowed to return home. The government has also ordered gyms, sport clubs, saunas, spas, swimming pools, water parks, day centers and children's playrooms to close, including in hotels.

The Health Board's headquarters have been operational since January 28, working daily from 9-21 since mid-February. The board maintains 24-hour on-call and epidemiological consultation services and is monitoring the situation in the world and Estonia. The board is no longer making efforts to monitor each infected person's close contacts as the virus is already spreading in Estonia.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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