Estonian Health Board calls off health emergency

  • 2022-06-01
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – By a decision of the director general of the Health Board, the coronavirus related health emergency has been terminated in Estonia, but the risk of an  emergency remains.

The director general of the Health Board, Birgit Lao, has signed a decision lowering the level of preparedness of health care providers as of June 1, whereby Level 2 preparedness of health care providers is replaced by Level 1. This means a change in the level of preparedness in particular for the ambulance service, inpatient specialized care and general medical care providers, who will be able to return to the restoration of reserves and to the more usual activities carried out under conditions of preparedness.

According to the director general of the Health Board, the number of beds for patients posing a risk of infection with COVID-19 will be reduced in Estonian hospitals. Under the restructuring plan, 134 beds will remain in place to ensure the treatment of infectious patients, allowing the focus to shift to restoring the volume of scheduled treatments and replenishing operational stocks.

Estonia has been in the status of a health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic since Aug. 11 last year, when there were 63 COVID-19 patients in hospital. As of Monday morning, 30 people needed hospital treatment due to symptomatic COVID-19. A total of 17,905 cases of COVID-19 in 17,037 people have been closed in the country's hospitals.

According to the epidemiological assessment, the infection rate multiplier R now equals 0.89 and according to the risk matrix taking into account the number of hospitalizations, the risk level for the spread of the coronavirus is low. The share of people with a completed vaccination course in Estonia is 63.7 percent.

The Health Board will continue to monitor the situation and keep people informed of epidemiological changes.

The organization of health care services in times of crisis is based on the principle that resources are limited and must be redeployed, first and foremost to ensure the capacity to provide emergency care. There are three crisis response levels.

Level 1 is applied when there is a risk of a crisis. The health care system will switch to Level 2 in the event of a crisis, when the risk has materialized and causes disruptions in the continuity of the vital service, whereas Level 3 is applied when there is a large-scale health crisis.