Fischer: Estonian medical system has reached its capacity limit

Krista Fischer
Krista Fischer Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The coronavirus related situation in Estonia has reached a point where the medical system is at its capacity limit, Krista Fischer, member of the scientific advisory board advising the Estonian government on COVID-19, said on Sunday.

Debates on how the situation has ended up where it is and whose fault it is will not take us further now and we must change what still can be changed, Fischer wrote on social media.  

In recent times, coronavirus tests in Estonia have produced around 1,500 new positive results per day, and about seven percent of these people end up in hospital sooner or later. Of the hospitalized patients 12 percent or slightly more die, whereas for others it may take several months before they regain their previous level of energy and work capacity, whereas some end up with permanent health damage, the expert said. 

"Thus, 1,500 infected people = 100-120 people in hospital = 10-15 coronavirus deaths. As people spend on the average 9-10 days in hospital, this means that soon we will need 1,000 hospital bed places in actuality," Fischer said. 

She also observed that the share of working-age people among those treated in hospital has increased of late -- about half of them are under 70 years of age, a quarter are under 60.

"We are in actuality in a situation where medicine has reached its capacity limit, not to speak of other problems related to so high an infection rate. As a matter of fact, this limit has been crossed already, as scheduled treatments have been discontinued to a large extent and also the provision of emergency aid is strongly disturbed," Fischer said. 

She said that, at present, every one of us must do their utmost to not contribute to the prolongation of infection chains. 

"Let's stay at home or take walks in the wild. Let's prefer e-commerce to going shopping, but if we really have to go to a store, let's wear a mask of as high as possible quality there. Let's avoid public transport. Let's cancel all scheduled meetings in public space and replace them with virtual meetings. Zoom, Skype and other tools are not for work meetings only -- with their help we can create a feeling of being really together also with good friends. Let's stay in isolation when we are infected or a close contact and let's demonstrate zero tolerance towards those who ignore these rules," Fischer said. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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