Estonia's coronavirus infection rate still rising

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A health care worker treating a coronavirus patient at Tallinn's North Estonia Medical Center. Source: PERH

Estonia's coronavirus infection rate R is still above 1, meaning the rate is growing, the Health Board said at a press conference on Monday. Hospitals have reached their capacity limits.

"Although the infection rate R has fallen, it still remains above one. This means that no improvement is expected for the health care network in the coming weeks," Dr Urmas Sule, the Health Board's emergency medicine manager, said.

"Although everyone would like to hear positive news, I must admit that the situation has unfortunately not improved. The last two weeks were the first in which more than 10,000 patients were diagnosed. In total, more than 20,000 new infections," said Sule.

The epicenter of the disease is in Tallinn and nearby regions which means a critical burden for the health care network in the Northern region.

Sule said, in total, there are 699 coronavirus patients in hospital, 67 need intensive care and 52 are using ventilators.

"These are not the highest numbers - we have had 711 coronary patients before, but the internal trend is complicated," he said. 

The situation in hospitals in the southern region has slightly improved compared to last week, he said, but in the northern region it is critical. There are currently 186 coronavirus patients being treated in the southern region, which is less than last week.

Hospitals in the north have reached a state where emergency treatment is being impacted, he said.

Majority of educators vaccinated

90 percent of Estonian educators have already been vaccinated, the Health Insurance Fund's Külli Friedemann said at the press conference on Monday.

"As of Monday morning, the vaccination of school staff has reached 90 percent, i.e. 14,552 educators have been vaccinated," she said. Vaccination of kindergarten workers is continuing.

Approximately, 7,000 Rescue Board and the Police and Border Guard Board workers have been vaccinated, which is 48.7 percent.

Of the risk groups that GPs have identified, 35 per cent of people over the age of 80 have been vaccinated and 26.1 percent of those over 70.

She said the mass vaccination of residents in Lasnamäe, Maardu and Loksa, which started over the weekend and will last until Tuesday, has also gone well.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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