COVID-19 wards in smaller hospitals could be closed

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A COVID-19 ward in East Tallinn Central Hospital. Source: Raigo Pajula/ITK

Both the northern and southern medical regions will begin discussing if coronavirus wards in smaller hospitals could be closed in the coming weeks, Health Board emergency medicine chief Urmas Sule told ERR.

Since the number of patients requiring hospitalization has started to decrease, some coronavirus wards in smaller Estonian hospitals could be closed. "Hospitals are all actively planning and we will slowly begin decreasing the bed fund," Sule said.

He added that the northern region will convene on Wednesday and the southern region will do so on Friday.

As of Monday morning, 595 people are receiving treatment in hospital with 49 under assisted breathing. There are 70 patients in intensive care.

Sule said that while the number of people requiring hospitalization is falling, a drop in intensive care is not expected yet. If there was a sudden drop, it would mean people are not recovering from COVID-19, but instead dying from it.

"When it comes to intensive care, you should not expect these changes to come fast. If the intensive care drop is slower, it shows that the people requiring intensive care will likely recover," he explained.

Sule added that the average age of hospitalized patients stands at 68 years old and people are in hospital for longer periods as a result of the more aggressive British strain. Some people are hospitalized for multiple months, he noted.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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