Arkadi Popov, chief medical official for the emergency situation at the Health Board, said at a press briefing on Saturday that if the coronavirus infection statistics continue to show signs of stability, the easing of emergency restrictions will start from Tuesday.
"From April 21, if the situation in Estonia remains stable according to the same trends, the plan is to start gradually resuming planned activities or easing restrictions," Popov said, adding that the Health Board will have an advisory role in this.
"We are currently foremost guided by the fact that the epidemic has not yet receded, this is the peak period we are currently going through. Given that people need both scheduled inpatient and outpatient treatment, we can accommodate people, but with certain limitations," he said, adding that patients must inevitably take into account that not everyone can get treatment at once.
"People need to know that they have to fill in a COVID-19 health declaration, for example, before they come to an appointment. They must be prepared to be received by a health care professional in personal protective equipment who will check them. And then a decision is made as to whether it is possible to provide scheduled treatment or not," Popov said.
According to the crisis medical chief, a document setting out safety requirements is currently being developed and will be discussed in more detail as soon as the document is ready and has been approved.
"The epidemiological situation is stabilizing and we can hope that COVID-positive patients will no longer have to be treated in small hospitals -- we are talking about general hospitals and local hospitals," Popov said.
He added that emergency medicine readiness must be guaranteed everywhere in Tallinn, but changes are expected in COVID units.
Editor: Helen Wright