89 health care workers have received positive coronavirus diagnosis

Testing kit for the COVID-19 virus. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

As of Wednesday, altogether 89 doctors, family doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists in Estonia have received a positive coronavirus diagnosis.

The Health Board said a total of 89 health care workers have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis as of April 15.

Of these health care workers, 51 are in the Western region, 25 in the Northern region, three in the East and 10 in the South, Irina Dontšenko, head of the monitoring and epidemic control department at the Health Board, told BNS. These include doctors from various hospitals, family doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists.

The highest number of health care workers with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, altogether 37, is in Kuressaare Hospital on the island of Saaremaa.

She emphasized that these 89 are health care workers, not employees of health care institutions more generally.

Dontšenko added that many health care workers, who received a positive diagnosis, have recovered by now or have fallen ill outside of work and have not spent a single day at work while ill or are in quarantine due to contacts that took place outside work.

Irina Dontšenko. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Because larger hospitals have the capability to test for COVID-19 on-site, they decide themselves who to investigate in case of virus suspicions. In this case, the Health Board shall be notified of confirmed cases.

All health care professionals are tested in case of doubt. All hospitals have infection control systems in place and all staff have been trained and instructed how to protect themselves and others.

Health care workers are getting sick and recovering in the same way as everyone else, and some medical staff are also away from work due to quarantine, Dontsenko said. As the numbers are constantly changing, the Health Board will not provide a list of specific health care facilities the staff of which have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

The same rules apply to a sick medical professional as to all other people -- having fallen ill, they must also remain at home until they recover, inform people with whom they have been in close contact, if possible, and consult their doctor about treatment.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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