The Health Board (Terviseamet) advises postponing the start of the scheduled treatment to ensure the safety of the patients that are in the West Tallinn Central Hospital (Lääne Tallinna Keskhaigla), due to the in-hospital spread of the coronavirus. The Health Board has also started monitoring the use of self-protective equipment in hospitals.
The Health Board, in cooperation with the West Tallinn Central Hospital, has identified that during the period between March 12 to May 5, 24 healthcare workers were infected, and during the period of March 24 to May 1, 24 patients had been infected by the coronavirus.
To uncover the infection chain, the Health Board has conducted epidemiological studies, counseled the hospital´s staff, and tested 290 employees.
Dr. Juta Varjas, the Head of the Healthcare Procedure Group at the Northern Regional Department of the Health Board, said the board also initiated a state supervision procedure to further investigate the causes of infection, which examines, among other things, the use of personal protective equipment in hospitals.
"We are hoping to get the answers fast in cooperation with the hospital because restoring safe scheduled treatment is both ours and the hospital´s priority," Varjas said adding that the hospital has isolated some of the departments to control the spread of the virus.
"Though there are isolated departments in the hospital, the danger of infecting is not over."
Head of the Board at the West Tallinn Central Hospital, Dr. Imbi Moks, said that the directions by the Health Board should be taken seriously. The hospital is testing both the workers and patients, she said.
"If a patient with a coronavirus is identified in the department, very strict quarantine measures are followed. Other patients in the department will be referred home or isolated in a special department if possible, the special brigade will perform a deep cleaning of the premises of the hospital, and staff exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient will be quarantined," Dr. Moks went on.
"We are doing everything we can to continue the scheduled treatment safely soon because the less we can deal with patients' health concerns on a scheduled basis, the more the need for emergency care increases. However, emergency treatment is always more difficult for the patient and the hospital treatment usually takes longer," Dr. Moks added.
Editor: Roberta Vaino