TALLINN – A total of 267 people had been diagnosed with the coronavirus in Estonia as on Thursday morning, nine more than on Wednesday, and eight of the patients have been hospitalized, officials said on Thursday.
Since Jan. 31, in total 2,259 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the country. While most of the patients have mild symptoms, eight people have been hospitalized. None of the patients have needed intensive care.
The health institutions with the capability for coronavirus testing at present are the Health Board, University of Tartu Hospital, Synlab, North Estonia Medical Center, East-Viru Central Hospital and Parnu Hospital. The labs at present are capable of analyzing 500-600 samples per day.
The Health Board says that it is enough to test the people who really need it -- the critically ill and risk groups, including the elderly and people with chronic illness. Random sampling is reserved for people working on the front line who might, if ill, infect patients in the risk groups while providing vital services.
In the next few days, extended coronavirus testing on referral by a family doctor will launch in eight cities across Estonia. The first testing facility working as a drive-in will open in Tallinn and the next ones in Tartu, Parnu, Kuressaare, Viljandi, Narva, Paide and Kohtla-Jarve. When falling ill, residents must call their family doctor, who will assess the need for testing for coronavirus based on the guidelines of the Health Board.
If symptoms occur, residents are advised to call their family doctor or the family doctor helpline at 1220 for further instructions and advice. In the event of severe breathing difficulties or shortness of breath, a call should be made to 112. The necessity of testing a patient is decided by a doctor and it is only done when there is a medical indication for it, the Health Board said.
In case of onset of symptoms, one should stay home and if possible, notify people with whom they have been in contact with during the previous days. In the case of mild symptoms -- cough, low fever, stay home and focus on symptomatic treatment using over-the-counter medicines.
More information can be found on the Health Board's website www.terviseamet.ee/en/covid19 and on the Health Board's Facebook page.
Answers to questions on the emergency situation can be found on the government's website www.valitsus.ee/en/emergency-situation-estonia .