Elderly patients in their eighties and nineties who have contracted the coronavirus at a Tallinn hospital have been moved to another facility, and their close contacts are quarantining following an outbreak. Visits are currently banned at the Järve facility.
The cases – five patients at the East Tallinn Central Hospital's (ITK) Järve facility, along with seven staff – have been taken to West Tallinn Central Hospital (LTKH) for treatment.
ITK spokesperson Inge Suder, said that the outbreak was sparked after a staff member felt unwell at the weekend, while they were at home, and then tested positive for the virus at the beginning of the week. This prompted further tests at the facility, a nursing hospital for the elderly, which revealed the 12 further cases.
Of the five infected patients, the youngest is 84 years old, with the eldest in their late nineties, Suder said, though was unable to comment on their state of health at present.
"Patients have been taken to LTKH, and those who have been in contact with them are quarantining," Suder said.
"We are testing people twice as required, and are following the guidelines. Everything is under control at the moment. The facility is closed; patients cannot be visited at the moment," Suder went on, adding that the hospital facility will not be taking on any more fresh patients either.
"We have to sit out this current period. We will do everything according to the rules to get the outbreak under control as soon as possible, and to make sure the hospital is sterile."
At the same time, patients at the facility are in rooms alone or with one other patient, meaning the spread should be containable, she said.
Staff members have crossover with other facilities, however, such as Tallinn Children's Hospital (Tallinna Lastehaigla), and North Estonia Regional Hospital (PERH); Suder was unable to say whether the infected employees had recently worked at these sites also.
Inter-departmental movement is now off-limits, and routes of movement for existing staff has now been set out precisely, she said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte