Nearly all coronavirus patients in Estonia undergoing treatment at home

  • 2020-03-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian Health Board said that all but one of the coronavirus patients in Estonia are undergoing treatment at home.

Altogether 80 percent of those infected with coronavirus will experience a mild illness, 10-15 percent may require intensive care and 2 percent of the cases may result in death -- these are risk groups including the elderly, those with weak immune systems and people with chronic illnesses.

The group most at risk is people over the age of 60. Working people within this age group should work remotely if at all possible. The Health Board is advising that all people over 60 avoid crowded places, stay at home if possible, and avoid contact with people showing signs of illness at all cost. Those at risk should also avoid contact with children who usually show mild signs of coronavirus but pose a threat foremost to elderly relatives in spreading the virus.

The trend of the spread of the virus is decreasing globally -- for example, China is showing a downward trend and the situation in South Korea is stabilizing. Considering the local spread of coronavirus, the Health Board said that the number of those infected in Estonia will definitely increase.

The Health Board also no longer considers it expedient to divide countries into risk areas and non-risk areas when it comes to the spread of the virus as coronavirus has by now spread to all member states of the European Union. By now, there is a high risk of infection everywhere in crowded places, therefore, the Health Board recommends to avoid traveling and staying in crowded places.

Estonia's main focus is to avoid the spread of the virus among risk groups, like the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. Raising the health awareness of the population is still an important issue. According to the risk assessment of the Health Board, the likelihood of the extensive local spread of the virus is medium.

In its risk assessment, the Health Board is guided by data, risk assessments and analyses as well as the forecast of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

People who have arrived from abroad and been in contact with an infected person must stay at home for 14 days, avoid contact with other people and monitor their own health. In order to alleviate symptoms like fever, cough and congestion, the Health Board suggests symptomatic treatment with over-the-counter medication. People should call the 112 emergency number in case of breathing difficulties or lack of air.

If symptoms occur, people should not go to a family doctor or a hospital emergency room. Symptoms of many viruses are similar, and there is a risk of infecting others when you move around while ill.

In the context of the national spread of coronavirus, there is also a huge chance that a person who did not have the virus can be infected with the virus while in line at a healthcare institution.

The Health Board, ambulance and hospitals have an overview of the situation as well as the state of the patients.

It is important to continue to carefully observe hygiene rules such as hand washing, protected coughing, sneezing and blowing one's nose as well as avoiding handshakes and hugs. People should also avoid travel and, in case of illness, stay at home.

The Health Board issues thanks to all institutions, municipalities and companies implementing various measures to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Health Board monitors the situation in the world on a daily basis and compares it with Estonia, observes the health status of every infected person by calling them on a daily basis and advises patients and their relatives.