First death from coronavirus reported in Estonia

West Tallinn Central Hospital's infectious disease clinic.
West Tallinn Central Hospital's infectious disease clinic. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A patient infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) died on Wednesday afternoon at West Tallinn Central Hospital. This is the first death related to the COVID-19 virus in Estonia.

The Health Board received confirmation of the first person in Estonia to die as a result of the COVID-19 virus on Wednesday afternoon.

The patient was an 83-year-old woman who was hospitalized at West Tallinn Central Hospital on March 20. She had underlying health issues and suffered from chronic cardiovascular problems.

Dr Arkadi Popov, chief of the emergency department at the Health Board, expressed condolences to the woman's family. He said: "This is a very emotionally hard moment and an extremely sad day. This shows that we must continue our fight against the spread of the virus.

"We have to be prepared that more people might die in Estonia because of this disease, which is why it is particularly important that we refrain from close contact with the elderly and the chronically ill. Let us protect our elderly and immunocompromised people – keeping a distance is critically important to them."

As of Wednesday morning, 404 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed across Estonia.

President and prime minister express condolences

Both President Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) wrote on Facebook on Wednesday evening that they expressed condolences to the woman's family.

Kaljulaid said this was a "sad day" and called on everyone to do their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus, adding this is the only way it can be beaten. Kaljualid also wrote that, unfortunately, Estonia is just at the start of the pandemic.

She wrote: "We're all worried about the future in a manner that the majority of Estonians have never experienced in their lives. Let's support each other. The best thing is to keep thinking what you could to protect your family, your elderly relatives, the community. It's great to see Estonian people keeping their distance from each other when walking in the forest and giving way to each other on small intersecting paths – and smiling at each other! Because we're together."

She added: "Dear people of Estonia – it's time to stick together. Unfortunately, it's also the time when we have to stay away from each other. Let's make sure that this is not a time of loneliness, but a time of communication and caring. This way, we will beat it."

Ratas also called on everyone to accept the restrictions in place and to take them seriously.

"For weeks and months, Estonia and the rest of the world have been struggling to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Our healthcare professionals work tirelessly every day to protect our lives and health from the dangers. They are supported by thousands of other people on the front line. We must take the protection of our own health, that of our loved ones, and everyone else, very seriously, and accept the inconvenience that comes with that."

Health Board: 29 people in hospital

The Health Board reported on Wednesday evening that 29 patients in Estonia have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), seven of them in intensive care and six in critical condition. 

Pärnu Hospital is treating six people, of which five are stable and one is in critical condition. 

East Tallinn Central Hospital is treating 2 people and both are in stable condition. 

There are 3 people in Tallinn's North Estonian Medical Center, all are in critical condition. 

Tartu University Hospital is treating seven people, three of them are in intensive care and two are in critical condition. 

There are currently 11 people receiving treatment in West Tallinn Central Hospital, all of whom are in stable condition and do not need intensive care. 

Nine people have been discharged from hospitals.​


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Editor: Helen Wright, Andrew Whyte

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