The most effective way to curb the spread of coronavirus is for people to self-isolate as much as possible, doctors at the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) said, urging people to stay at home.
In order to prevent a serious crisis, medical professionals at PERH urge for all Estonians to take responsibility for their health and that of their fellow residents and voluntarily remain in self-isolation, spokespeople for PERH told BNS on Monday.
"All people who are not directly involved in the functioning of the state - please adhere to isolation recommendations, do not meet with people or go shopping or anywhere else unless there is an urgent need for it. If there is urgent necessity for doing so, please keep a distance with other people and practice hand hygiene," the spokespeople said.
"As doctors and heads of PERH, we have been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in different states since the start of this year. Based on developments in Italy, France, Austria, Iran and Spain it is clear that it is high time to make isolation in Estonia more effective as the conduct of our fellow residents thus far has not been sufficient to prevent the worst. The recommendation and request to remain in self-isolation appears to be a nuisance to some Estonian people, who have been seen meeting friends while their children are gathering on playgrounds and the city again starts to fill up with cars, and the danger of it goes unrecognized," PERH said.
Doctors at PERH said that it is not too late to curb the outbreak. Other states' experience shows that every day that effective isolation measures are not in place adds to the number of patients who later need intensive care as well as to the number of deaths over the following month.
The contribution of all people in Estonia is required in particular to protect the health of the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, immunocompromised individuals and those undergoing oncological treatment.
On Monday family doctor Karmen Joller urged people to stay away from busy hiking trails such as Viru Raba and to keep children away from playgrounds to stop the virus spreading.
Editor: Helen Wright