Health Board: Coronavirus cases rise to 205, more cases expected ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Carside coronavirus testing at Kuressaare Hospital.
Carside coronavirus testing at Kuressaare Hospital. Source: Foto: Margus Muld / ERR

The Health Board said the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Estonia was 205 on Monday morning. The actual number of people infected is likely to be higher and the number of people affected will certainly increase.

Since January 31, in Estonia 1,387 COVID-19 tests have been carried out and 205 of those have been positive. Most patients with coronavirus are experiencing mild symptoms. Two are in hospital. The first patient to be diagnosed has recovered.

"As of today, it is clear that the infection is also spread locally in Estonia," said Martin Kadai, head of the emergency department of the Health Board at a press conference on Monday. "That's why we have switched to the next strategy to stop the rapid spread of the disease," he added.

Kadai explained that the first phase was trying to prevent the virus from spreading locally, but no country can do it because the forms of the disease are quite mild and often people who are infected do not notice them.

"It is in the common interest of all of us to be able to slow down the spread on the ground and delay it for as long as possible, which allows us to arrange this treatment so that everyone in need receives hospital treatment," Kadai explained.

It is vital that the guidance given by the Health Board - including that employers allow people to work from home - is followed, as it reduces physical contact between people, which helps prevent the spread of the disease, Kadai said.

Two elderly people at risk have been hospitalized - one at Tartu University Hospital and the other at Pärnu Hospital. But both are stable and not intensive care patients, Kadai said.

The current data suggests the average infected person in Estonia is a middle-aged person and there is no difference between women and men. There are few children and elderly people among the infected.

Estonia's main focus is to prevent the spread of the virus among the elderly and people with chronic diseases, the Health Board said. People over 60 are the most vulnerable group. Working people of this age should, if possible, should work remotely.

The Health Board advises anyone over the age of 60 to avoid crowded places, stay at home wherever possible and avoid contact with people with signs of illness. 

Communication with children should be reduced, as they are a major risk for the elderly when spreading the virus. Children's symptoms are mostly mild.

It is important to continue to follow strict hygiene rules such as washing your hands, avoiding shaking hands or close contact.

If you think you have symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, stay inside and self-quarantine until your test results are confirmed.

At present, COVID-19 virus detection facilities are available at Health Board labs, the Tartu University Hospital, Synlab, the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH), the Ida-Viru Central Hospital, and Pärnu Hospital.

If symptoms, such as a cough and fever occur, call a family doctor or the family doctor helpline 1220 for advice. You can also call the Alarm Center's 24/7 helpline on 1247. In the event of severe breathing difficulties or shortness of breath, call 112.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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