Representatives of the Estonian Red Cross (Eesti Punane Rist) handed over donations on Wednesday which were collected to support workers who became infected with coronavirus.
In total, donations amounted to €6,500, representatives of the Red Cross said. Donations were handed over to representatives of Kuressaare Hospital, Pärnu Hospital and West-Tallinn Central Hospital. The money will be distributed among the hospitals in proportion to the number of infected members of staff.
Starting mid-April, the Estonian Red Cross collected donations to support hospital staff infected with the coronavirus. With the donations, all Estonian residents had the opportunity to pay tribute to the workers of the medical sector and, for their part, to support those who were committed to risking their health in the course of their work.
Harri Viik, president of the Estonian Red Cross, said: "During this difficult time, many Estonians wanted to pay tribute and thank and support those who became infected while doing their work and taking care of others. That is why we started collecting donations to support those doctors, nurses, carers and other hospital staff who cared for coronavirus patients at their own risk and therefore became ill themselves." He added: "We cannot compensate for their loved ones for their time or worry, but we pay tribute and express gratitude for the courage shown."
In order for the donations to reach those for whom they were intended in a targeted manner, the Estonian Red Cross cooperated with those hospitals that were the ones to bear the greatest burden in dealing with coronavirus patients during the emergency situation.
According to the available data, most coronavirus patients were in Kuressaare Hospital, North Estonia Medical Center, University of Tartu Hospital, Pärnu Hospital, East-Viru Central Hospital and West-Tallinn Central Hospital.
Representatives of the North Estonia Medical Center, the University of Tartu Hospital and East-Viru Central Hospital confirmed that their staff was not exposed to the coronavirus in this way and that no infections occurred among their employees.
"The emergency situation was particularly difficult for medical staff -- they had long and tiring workdays, often not being able to see or hug their loved ones for a long time. Yet they found the tenacity and strength to take care of the sick every day," Viik said.
"All of this inevitably involves a risk to their own health. They know that. That is part of their job. My great esteem and respect, as well as thanks, go to all the people who help people in difficult times," he added.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein