Number of coronavirus cases in Estonia rises to 258 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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

The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases diagnosed in Estonia has risen to 258, up from 225 on Tuesday, the Health Board (Terviseamet) says.

Most patients exhibit mild symptoms, with Harju County and the island of Saaremaa remaining the most affected regions.

Three people were in hospital with the virus as of Wednesday morning, two lighter cases and on more complicated.

Since January 31, there have been 2,020 samples tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus which causes COVID-19.

Laboratories currently equipped to handle coronavirus testing include those at the Health Board, Tartu University Hospital (TÜK), Synlab, North Estonia Medical Center (PERH), Ida-Viru Central Hospital and Pärnu Hospital.

At present, laboratories can analyze 500 to 600 samples a day, the Health Board said.

Testing capacity is sufficient for all those who need to be tested - especially at risk groups such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, as well as those presenting with serious symptoms.

Random testing is intended to be used only to test so-called frontline workers - health care and welfare workers and other vital services - who to avoid transmission of the infection to at-risk patients. 

However, personal protective equipment and testing tools, including diagnostic tools, have started to have issues across the EU, though the use time needs to be taken into account, the board said.

Anyone who thinks they might be infected with coronavirus – which means having recently traveled to an at-risk area, or having contact with someone who has returned from an at-risk area – should call their family doctor or the family doctor advice helpline (telephone numbers are below). Do not visit the emergency room.

Coronavirus symptoms are similar to flu symptoms.

Measures in place to limit the spread of coronavirus in Estonia:

  • Do not visit the emergency room as it could spread the disease to people who are already ill.
  • Those returning from a trip in an affected area should self-quarantine for 14 days and not leave home during that period.
  • Thermal imaging cameras are in use to detect passengers with a fever at Tallinn Airport, the Port of Tallinn and land borders.
  • Public transport is being cleaned more often than usual.
  • Risk areas are currently defined as China, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Egypt.

 

Emergency contact numbers:

  • On March 16, a crisis phoneline will be launched to answer coronavirus-related questions. The number to call is 1247.
  • The family doctor helpline can be called on 1220 and is the first point of contact. It is staffed by Estonian, Russian and English speakers.
  • Estonian citizens and residents who are having trouble returning home from risk areas are advised to contact the consular assistance emergency helpline: +372 53 01 9999 (24 h).
  • In an emergency, or if your health suddenly deteriorates, call the emergency services on 112.
  • The Health Board's advice in English is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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