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Two days of tests identified 134 new cases of infection yesterday

By the morning of 26 March, 538 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus in Estonia, after 7090 had been tested.

From today we will be publishing the test results using data from the health information system (TIS) as this system receives data from referrals. Changes in the data sources and an increase in testing meant that 134 new positive cases were added today to the laboratory data published on 25 March. An average of 1000 tests a day are now being carried out.

“The data published today are effectively the results for the past 48 hours, and that is why there was a sharp jump in the numbers of positive results”, said Ragnar Vaiknemets, the head of the crisis committee at the Health Board today, explaining that the move to using the health information system will make it easier to collect data in future. “From tomorrow the situation should stabilise as the data on positive tests will come from the same source as those announced today”.

The Health Board was not earlier able to use the health information system for these data, as using the TIS needed several laboratories to set up their testing capacity and private sector partners to be involved. “Being able to use the TIS to process these data means that data can be collected much more quickly”.

The regions where the most positive results were added from the tests were Harjumaa with 59, Saaremaa with 54, and Tartumaa with 10. Almost a quarter, or 23%, of the positive results came in the age group of those aged over 60. The health and well-being information systems centre (TEHIK) is today still checking the age group results and the results from the laboratories, and the data on age groups will be published after this control process.

As of yesterday evening, 29 patients in Estonia needed hospital treatment for the new coronavirus, of whom seven were in intensive care and six in a critical state. Yesterday afternoon one person who had been infected with COVID-19 died.

Following the first death of an elderly person and the appearance of infection in care homes, the Health Board emphasises that:

  • It is strictly prohibited to visit care homes, as this endangers the health of those being cared for.
  • It is very important to reduce contact between people, because there is no other way to limit the spread of the disease.
  • The movement of care home residents between care homes must be avoided in the coming weeks, and new residents should not be accepted. Elderly people who need care should contact the local government where they live to get services that can be delivered to their homes.
  • The Health Board, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Social Insurance Board have produced guidelines for how clients or members of staff of care institutions that are suspected of infection should act. The guidelines are available in all care institutions. The Social Insurance Board is in constant contact with care homes and is ready to react to any event that occurs.
  • The Social Insurance Board has worked together with the Health Board in recent weeks to inform care homes and make clear to them that the top priority for preventing infection is to follow all hygiene requirements. It is the responsibility of every service provider to make sure that all advice, recommendations and other measures are followed and applied in full.

Following the state of emergency declared in Estonia, visiting is prohibited to all social care institutions, hospitals and detention facilities, initially until 1 May 2020 unless the government declares otherwise.

More information can be found on the Health Board website and on its Facebook page. Questions about the state of emergency are answered on the government website

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