Health Board crisis department chief Urmas Sule said, based on the current trend of the spread of the coronavirus, hospitals will need to significantly increase the number of beds available by December 10 and this will have a strong impact on scheduled treatment.
Sule said on ETV current affairs show "Esimene stuudio" on Wednesday evening that according to the estimation of scientists, the rapid increase in cases will result in more people needing hospital treatment.
"The infection rate is currently [R]1.2 and this is very high. And if today we have 200 people in hospitals, the number will be around 400 in a week," he said.
The increase in the number of hospital patients will have a direct impact on how hospitals can carryout scheduled treatment.
Sule added that currently, scheduled treatment in many hospitals can still continue due to organizational measures, such as extending surgery plans and improving efficiency.
"From the next stage, increasing the capability of hospitals will start to affect scheduled treatment and quite strongly," Sule said.
He said if next week there are 400 infected people needing hospital treatment, then the number could easily increase to 800.
"400+ beds plus 60+ intensive care beds plus 100 emergency medicine department beds is the statewide so-called A4 level and we will be there by December 10. From there, there will be decisions made, which will strongly affect the scheduled treatment. And if we were to go the so-called A5, it will directly affect the emergency medicine department," he explained.
Sule admitted that currently there is no trend which shows the number of cases is falling.
"We are actually running at a steadily increasing pace, even more so with hospital treatment. If there are more and more care facilities or if the disease spreads more and more among older people, then it actually means a sharp increase in the need for hospital treatment meaning the scenarios will be realized faster. Today, we are definitely on an upward trend. If we have positive mindsets, then today, we have no positive signs to take from anywhere," Sule said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino