Health Board focusing on Delta strain patients to protect hospitals

Tram stop in Telliskivi, Tallinn.
Tram stop in Telliskivi, Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Health Board on Wednesday said it would change its work to focus on the Delta strain of coronavirus and those who contract it. Suffers of the strain are more likely to be hospitalized.

Kristian Sirp, the head of the Health Board's crisis unit, said 65 percent of the available hospital beds for coronavirus patients are occupied.

To try and prevent this number from rising, the agency will focus its work on those with the Delta strain as more people who contact it end up in hospital.

"We are trying to reach all of them with an epidemiological study," said Sirp. "We're focusing on people with the Delta strain because it's more costly, and if it starts to spread more, it's going to be a threat to hospitals."

The strain is most common amongst the elderly and the majority of people currently in hospital have been diagnosed with the strain.

Sirp said the average number of new infections each day had doubled in a week to reach 4,686.

"The risk of spreading the coronavirus remains very high," he said. Next week it is assumed the number will rise to 5,000 people a day.

This week the total figure is likely to be 35,000 new cases and more than half of the new cases are being reported in northern Estonia.

Sirp said the agency's work has significantly increased and it is unlikely it will be able to quickly contact everyone infected. Therefore, it is important that people continue to follow the self-isolation rules and people who test positive must map and inform close contacts.

He said 89 percent of people are infected with the Omicron strain and the majority of people experience mild symptoms.

In total, this week, there have already been more than 16,000 new cases of coronavirus reported. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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