A total of 538 people have been confirmed with coronavirus in Estonia as at the morning of Thursday, March 26, the Health Board (Terviseamet) has announced, an increase of 134 from Wednesday. The significant rise is in part due to changes the Health Board has made in how it gathers data, which will now happen more rapidly.
The highest number of confirmed cases remain in Harju County (including Tallinn) and on Saaremaa.
A total of 7,090 coronavirus tests have now been conducted, the Health Board says.
The Health Board is also from Thursday started publishing test results based on the centralized health information system (Terviseinfosüsteem-TIS). This change in organization of source data as well as a rise in testing is behind the significant increase in positive cases, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.
An average of one thousand tests a day are now being conducted.
(Please note figures announced refer to the previous day's confirmed totals).
"The data released today is essentially the result from the last two days. As a result, the figures also made a leap," said Ragnar Vaiknemets, chief of the Health Board's crisis staff.
"Tomorrow (Friday-ed.), the situation should return to normal, as we will receive positive test data on the same basis as we did today."
The Health Board could not previously make such inquiries via TIS, whose use follows the development of several laboratories' testing capabilities and the involvement of a private partner.
"Being able to use the health information system to make such queries will make data collection much faster," said Vaiknemets.
Twenty-three percent of positive cases are aged over 60, though more detailed data by age breakdown is still being reviewed by the Center for health and well-being information system (TEHIK), at the time of writing.
The first coronavirus death in Estonia was reported on Wednesday afternoon. The deceased was an 83-year-old woman who had been hospitalized at the West Tallinn Central Hospital on March 20 and had a known prior chronic cardiovascular problem.
Editor: Andrew Whyte