Number of coronavirus cases in Estonia rises to 306 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Coronavirus sign.
Coronavirus sign. Source: ERR

A total of 306 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus in Estonia as of Saturday. Fifty of these are aged 60 or older, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Three hundred and eight tests were conducted overnight from Friday, of which 23 proved positive. Most of the cases exhibited mild symptoms, and 15 people are currently hospitalized, none of them in intesive care, the Health Board says.

A total of 2,812 coronavirus tests have been carried out in Estonia since January 31. Testing is primarily for people with potential symptoms and medical indications, including the elderly and those with chronic underlying illnesses. 

The need for testing is decided by a family doctor, who will direct the patient to giving samples. These doctors are in turn given guidance, but the final decision is always the decision of the family doctor, being familiar with the patient and taking into account their symptoms, general health, and any co-morbidities.

In addition, non-symptomatic health and care workers are being tested at random to prevent the spread of the virus to health and care facilities and to police, rescue services and other coronavirus prevention personnel who may be at risk due to their work. 

Regular ambulance crews have been stripped down to two members to preserve resources and combat fatigue on the part of the crews, as well as to reduce potential exposure to those carrying the virus.

The state is also attempting to boost protective equipment supply and participating in a joint European Commission procurement of respiratory equipment, gloves, protective clothing and goggles.

According to the European Commission's schedule, however, this procurement could be delayed into May.

The Health Board has also signed two contracts, one of which ordered 50,000 FFP3 respirators in early March, plus another 85,000 FFP3 respirators. A six-month framework contract allows for the order of 260,000 of these masks in total.

By the end of March, there should be 200,000 three-layer surgical masks in the country, though delivery times are rising, according to ERR's online Estonian news. 

The Health Board obtains a lot of the equipment mainly from Estonian suppliers and Chinese manufacturers. However, given the current situation, logistics companies are experiencing difficulties and delivery times for orders may be delayed. 

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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