Government emergency medical chief Arkadi Popov said in an interview with "Aktuaalne kaamera" that eight out of 10 people who contact the emergency room at Kuressaare Hospital have coronavirus (COVID-19). Popov promised not to leave doctors alone and to support them with both transportation and beds.
Popov said on Saturday: "We have met with the leaders of the Kuressaare Hospital, we have also discussed the situation with the municipal government's crisis management committee. As our colleagues in the hospital confirm, of these patients, who go to the emergency department seven, eight out of 10 are infected with COVID-19, which means that the spread is really widespread on the island."
Popov said colleagues in Kuressaare say most patients come from Saaremaa's capital city Kuressaare and the Orissaare region, as well as from other parts of the island.
Popov said the country is preparing for a large number of ventilators to be occupied within a few weeks.
"Quite a lot of our patients with COVID-19 infection may need support. That's what we're preparing for right now. We're working with different hospitals, with different partners, to make this a reality," Popov said.
Popov also visited the Kuressaare Hospital with the Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) on Saturday.
"We saw the staff preparing, the hospital has two wards serving COVID-19 patients. There is also a third ward ready to receive them. If necessary, we are ready to support our colleagues at the Kuressaare Hospital both in transporting patients and increasing the number of beds," said Popov.
"We wish the staff of Kuressaare Hospital strength and motivation and we will certainly not leave them alone," Popov said.
There are currently 217 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Saare County, which includes the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu. In Harju County, which includes the capital city Tallinn, 220 cases have been diagnosed.
Last week Kuressaare Hospital reported that at least 20 members of staff were in quarantine after contracting COVID-19 or in isolation after coming into contact with people who are tested positive for the disease.
Additionally, 27 residents of a care home residents and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Editor: Helen Wright