North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) chief of medicine and head of the northern region's medical headquarters Peep Talving told ERR that the sudden drop in coronavirus infections in northern Estonia means that all Tallinn hospitals will reduce their coronavirus wards by at least a few dozen beds.
The number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization has fallen from 625 on November 7 to 489 on Wednesday. Peep Talving said the workload in hospitals has fallen in the entire northern region, spanning from Rakvere to Kuressaare. The change affects the major hospitals of Tallinn and Pärnu Hospital.
On Monday, the hospital chief sent out a preliminary plan to hospitals, which would reduce the number of coronavirus hospital beds by 103. The plan is set to be approved at a northern region medical unit meeting on Wednesday evening.
"Most of these 103 beds are in Tallinn's major hospitals, but Pärnu has also been an epicenter during the third wave. PERH's plan is to have 21 fewer beds, which we hope to manage during this week. West Tallinn Central Hospital plans to reduce the number of beds by 12 on Saturday, East Tallinn Central Hospital by 24, also on Saturday and Pärnu Hospital by 12 beds," Talving said.
The hospital chief said coronavirus beds are being eliminated gradually as it cannot be done quickly.
"It will take some time, because there are workers, patients and infrastructure. We have our plan, it will take up to 10 days to bring it to life. We move forward gradually when patients are discharged," Talving said, adding that the plan to reduce the number of beds by 103 is likely to be approved.
Every hospital will have to restore their scheduled treatments themselves, the hospital chief said. This will also likely take some time, because many hospital wards are currently quarantined and stationary scheduled treatments require doctors, nurses and caretakers, who will become available as there are less patients hospitalized with the coronavirus.
"But one or two beds do not play a significant role, we need a larger amount of beds to make up for the scheduled treatments deficit and to treat those that need to be treated going forward," Talving noted.
Emergency care wards cannot yet return to their regular tempo. "It is not wise to expect a regular situation. The Covid workload in emergency care wards is reducing, however. We had 12 to 13 [Covid] patients in emergency care each day some two weeks ago, then it has been four to six in recent days," Talving said.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) will also take part in the northern region medical unit's meeting this Wednesday.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste