More than 40 members of staff at Kuressaare Hospital in Saaremaa, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in Estonia, had tested positive for the virus by Thursday afternoon, Postimees reported.
Edward Laane, board member of the hospital, said that as recently as at the end of last week that number was between 20 and 25. Now it is 41. He did not rule out the possibility that the number might increase, as testing continues and new results are due in both on Thursday evening and Friday morning.
There are approximately 400 members of staff employed at the hospital.
"The situation is as it is," Laane said, commenting on the number of infected workers. "This is Kuressaare's reality."
Laane expressed hope that the hospital will get additional personnel soon to substitute for the infected workers.
For instance, early on Thursday morning, 11 medical volunteers headed to Saaremaa to start work at the field hospital set up next to Kuressaare Hospital.
First coronavirus case identified in East Prefecture of PPA
An employee of the East Prefecture of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.
The infected police officer has been at home since March 13, spokespeople for the East Prefecture said on Thursday.
As the police officer has not visited their work premises in Jõhvi for over two weeks, it is currently not necessary to send other police officers home or disinfect the rooms.
Tarvo Kruup, chief of the East Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board, said said: "Although more time than the 14-day incubation period of the virus has passed since the patient first stayed home, we are mapping all colleagues with whom the official may have come into contact. We are asking all of them to pay special attention to their health and to stay home in the case of even the slightest sign of illness,"
Altogether seven employees of the Police and Border Guard Board have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Editor: Helen Wright