Number of COVID-19 patients in hospital will not fall any time soon

A coronavirus ward at Narva Hospital in Ida-Viru County.
A coronavirus ward at Narva Hospital in Ida-Viru County. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

There will not be a drop in the number of patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus in the near future, doctors have said. However, the number of people admitted to intensive care is falling.

On Monday, there were 433 patients being treated for COVID-19 in Estonian hospitals, eight more than on Sunday, and the number of people admitted to hospital has risen over the past few days. There were 15 patients using ventilators and 31 in intensive care. 

Approximately 30 people are admitted every day, ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported on Monday evening.

Head of the Health Board's (Terviseamet) crisis unit Dr. Urmas Sule told AK there has been an increase in hospital admissions in the south of Estonia in recent days. Between 15-20 percent of these patients have come from care institutions.

Sule said it is positive that the number of people being treated in intensive care has not increased.

The former head of the crisis unit and now head of West Tallinn Central Hospital (Lääne-Tallinna Keskhaigla) Dr. Arkadi Popov told AK he agreed with Sule that patients numbers will not fall in the near future.

"I can see that our situation in Estonia has stabilized," Popov said, adding the infection rate has stabilized at a very high rate. If the current restrictions are not changed then the level of patients in hospital will stay at the same rate, he said.

He said his hospital is currently treating 60 COVID-19 patients and the number has remained stable, even seeing a slight decrease, in recent weeks.

"Mostly there are patients with comorbidities, there are a relatively large number of them and the average age is between 70-72," said Popov.

Sule said it is hard to say when the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted will affect scheduled treatment. "500 would definitely be a worrying number if you wanted to think of a number today. Right now it's 400+, we're used to it," Sule said.

He said the capability of hospitals to continue with scheduled treatment depends on many factors. "If we have one regional outbreak, the situation could change drastically," said Sule.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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