Saaremaa mayor: Ready for further rise in coronavirus cases ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Saaremaa mayor Madis Kallas.
Saaremaa mayor Madis Kallas. Source: ERR

Saaremaa mayor Madis Kallas said Sunday night that Kuressaare Hospital and nursing homes on the island were its princiipal focus following news that 22 residents and three members of staff at a care home on Saaremaa tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.

Kallas added that the municipality is prepared for a rise in coronavirus cases.

Speaking to ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Sunday, Kallas, who himself was diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus earlier in the month and has been working from home since then, said that: "Unfortunately, it has to be said that we have been engaging in plenty of preparation in this area for weeks already, insomuch as things can be done about it. But the images that are coming now through the media - orgiinally from China and now from Spain, France, and Italy - is a picture which has prepared us for for all that we can do."

"In reality, with the aid of psychological help, the various actions which need to be carried out in such cases, have long been dealt with in the current crisis and we are as ready as we can be," he added.

The crisis committee is to pay more attention to Kuressaare Hospital and municipal nursing homes, Kallas added.

"This may seem like the issue of the today right now, but we've been working on it for weeks. I am still finishing up calls on Sunday evening to discuss with and search for people in Tallinn who would be ready to come to us with medical care, just regarding nursing homes. The virus which has invaded us, the fight against it - this is a topic which will take up a lot of my time as well as that of all other staff members," Kallas explained.

From Monday onward, Saaremaa and the adjacent island of Muhu are to see tougher restrictions on movement. 

Kallas said that the local populace was supportive of the restrictions.

"Listening to what different people have said, both in the media and directly ... I really commend the islanders for their support for these measures and for their views on the different measures that are taking place worldwide. It is rather our opinion that we make very strict arrangements once and for all to halt the virus, and then return to normal as soon as possible. In general, the feedback has been positive," he said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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