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Yesterday, laboratories confirmed 33 new coronavirus cases

By the morning of March 18, 258 people had been diagnosed with novel coronavirus in Estonia. Since January 31, a total of 2020 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Estonia.

Most patients with coronavirus have mild symptoms. By counties, Harju and Saaremaa have the highest number of infected people (the distribution of yesterdays’ positive samples by counties will arrive tonight). Currently, 3 patients are hospitalized in Pärnu Hospital and Tartu University Hospital, two in fair and one in serious state.

Today, the ability to perform COVID-19 tests in Estonia is in the laboratories of the Health Board, Tartu University Hospital, Synlab, North-Estonia Regional Hospital, Ida-Viru Central Hospital and Pärnu Hospital. The mentioned labs are able to analyse 500-600 samples per day. 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 in the frontier who might, if ill, infect patients in the risk groups while providing vital services. Shortages of both protective and testing equipment, including equipment necessary for diagnosing, occur in the European Union as a whole and we must take in account that we need to ensure having equipment also for the upcoming months.

In order to use our health care resources sustainably in the situation of confirmed local spread, testing everyone with mild symptoms of a respitory disease is not expedient any more. The tactic of widespread testing is used mostly in the phase of keeping the virus out of the country but since the situation has changed, it is not useful.

If the symptoms occur, call your family doctor or the family doctor’s helpline 1220 for further instructions and advice. In the event of severe breathing difficulties or shortness of breath, call 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.

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 the symptomatic treatment with over-the-counter medicine.

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

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