In order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Health Board has proposed to the person in charge of the emergency situation in Estonia, i.e. the prime minister, to impose additional restrictions on movement on the western island of Hiiumaa.
Ester Öpik, head of the Health Board's North Regional Division, said that the restrictions should be implemented as a protective measure similarly to those imposed on Saaremaa, Estonia's biggest island.
The restrictions would also involve the temporary suspension of passenger transport on the Sõru-Triigi route connecting Hiiumaa and Saaremaa. Cargo transport should be allowed to continue on the route, however, the Health Board noted.
"The Health Board is well aware that the number of elderly people is high in Hiiumaa," Öpik said. "We also know very well that if an outbreak were to occur on the island similarly to other highly affected areas in Estonia, Hiiumaa Hospital would be unable to serve a very large number of patients."
The Health Board official noted that patient numbers surging in Hiiumaa would entail a supplementary burden on the health system, as many patients would have to be transported to the mainland for care.
"We know that the most efficient method to curb the spread of the virus is to wash your hands frequently, that infected people must remain at home, and that distance must be maintained between people," she said. "If surgical masks become available for sale at pharmacies, people need to start wearing them."
Editor: Aili Vahtla