PERH chief doctor: People should be responsible and self-isolate ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

PERH chief doctor, Peep Talving, appearing via remote video link on Monday's
PERH chief doctor, Peep Talving, appearing via remote video link on Monday's "Ringvaade". Source: ERR

Chief physician of the North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH) Dr. Peep Talving says that the people of Estonia should take the coronavirus pandemic very seriously and make more of an effort to follow isolation recommendations, echoing comments made by PERH earlier on Monday.

Appearing, via video link, on ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" Monday night, Dr. Talving said that the current emergency situation does not seem to have been taken fully on board in terms of movement restriction recommendations.

"We all went into the emergency situation with the expectation that the entire Estonian populace would understand and look at data from other countries experiencing bleak scenarios," Dr. Talving told host Marko Reikop. 

"It seems to us that, considering the scenarios in other countries, the Estonian people should isolate themselves more. Those who are healthy, should be at home anyway where possible; naturally of course, the sick must certainly be in quarantine at home, and quarantining their family. We are calling on the public to take the situation very seriously, because if we do things well, the outcome will be very good, but the experience of other countries has been very scary," he went on.

As reported on ERR News, on Monday, PERH doctors issued a signed appeal to the Estonian public, urging them to take the threat of the virus seriously and remain at home.

Intensive care: Four cases so far, could grow

Talving noted that the four people so far in a critical condition in intensive care as a result of coronavirus had been admitted to the units 12-14 days after being infected.

This figure could grow, however, Dr. Talving said, perhaps reaching five percent of the total coronavirus cases.

"It takes time for people to reach an intensive care unit. It is possible that there are some of us who will get seriously ill and then end up in the intensive care unit," he said, predicting that five percent of those infected could reach that stage.

The number of confirmed cases – 352 at the time of writing – is the tip of the iceberg, Dr. Talving went on, as there are many undiagnosed cases.

Italy, as well as France and Spain, are the most catastrophic examples of how coronavirus can turn out in the world today. The people of Estonia could learn from the events in these countries, he added.

"What we learn, we learned and implemented - we set up an emergencysituation relatively early and insulation recommendations have been given, but I don't think they are being followed up well enough. Here we have a place to react," he said.

Doctor Talving expressed hopes that no Italian scenario would emerge in Estonia. 

"Nobody says anything like this can happen, but the current data is that about one person a day has ended up in the intensive care unit for the last four to five days. If this continues, we're looking at a serious prognosis," he went on.

According to the PERH appeal, signed by Dr. Talving and 21 other doctors, isolation is the best way to limit the spread of the virus, the evidence suggests, and so the entire populace should take the responsibility to self-isolate.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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