According to social affairs minister Tanel Kiik (Center), Estonian hospitals have sufficient supply of breathing apparatuses with an additional shipment of surgical masks and FFP2 and FFP3 masks arriving during the week.
"Current scenarios and prognoses prove that we can manage with existing breathing apparatuses. It is not realistic that there could be a shortage in the coming weeks," Kiik said to ERR.
According to him, around 300 breathing apparatuses are in stock in Estonian hospitals with an additional 75 ordered through EU procurement and 150 by government decision. "The aim is to have over 500 breathing apparatuses," the minister added.
"We have been making calculations and assessments since mid-February and the government has enforced stricter measures in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to keep the number of people needing intensive care as low as possible," Kiik explained. "We will not receive any breathing apparatuses this week but as said, it is not so time-sensitive at the moment. The need for the apparatuses rises in the worst case scenario if we see that there will be a shortage in the long term."
The government is trying to secure protective masks from various sources with the Health Board, social affairs ministry and public administration minister Jaak Aab simultaneously on the case. The latter has as his role ensuring the availability of disinfectants and personal protective equipment in sectors outside the health care and social care system.
"From the view of the hospital network, we have two weeks' worth of stock. Right now we can say that our stock will not be exhausted but it is important that the procurements are valid and we will receive both respirators necessary for hospitals and surgical masks needed by many national bodies," Kiik said.
Editor: Anders Nõmm