Hospitals have capacity to treat 400 COVID-19 patients in intensive care

PERH during the emergency situation.
PERH during the emergency situation. Source: Aivar Kullamaa/PERH

There are approximately 400 hospital beds with respirators which can be used for patients with coronavirus if needed, the Ministry of Social Affairs has said. On Sunday, 146 people were being treated in hospital with seven patients in intensive care.

In recent weeks the number of patients with coronavirus admitted to hospital has risen and the government and Health Board has said new restrictions are dependent on hospitals' ability to cope with the virus.

There are more than 6,000 treatment beds in Estonian hospitals and an average of 70 percent of them are usually occupied, ERR reported on Sunday.

Head of the Health System Development Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs Agris Koppel said 200 beds have currently been set aside for coronavirus patients but more can be added if the situation worsens.

"There is a plan for coronavirus patients, and depending on the severity of the situation, will see hospitals open more and more beds on the orders of the Health Board. Probably as the situation gets more serious, we will increase them," Koppel said.

Currently, there are approximately 30 intensive care beds available for coronavirus patients in Estonia, but additional beds with breathing apparatus can be created quickly.

Koppel estimated there is capacity to create up to 400 beds for patients with a severe form of the virus.

"In an epidemic, all patients must be treated, but in the sense of intensive care, there is definitely one limitation of the existence of respirators and there are more than 300 of them in Estonia today, ie we can treat between 300 and 400 patients with severe COVID," he said.

Beds can also be opened in smaller Estonian hospitals.

''Currently, the morbidity is highest in Tallinn, Harju County and Ida-Viru County, so we have already created more beds there than in other regions. Depending on the severity of the situation and where there are sick people, we can open additional beds," he said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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