Estonian hospitals are looking for volunteers to cope with the coronavirus surge

Many Estonian hospitals have run low of medical personnel due to the surge of the novel coronavirus cases and they’re looking for volunteers with medical training to step in.

The Estonian Health Board even shared a cry for help from the North Estonia Medical Centre on Facebook, saying that “HOSPITALS ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS!”, adding that anyone with medical training – including medical students – are welcome to apply.

The situation is especially dire at the Ida-Viru County central hospital. The Estonian Health Board said in a statement that its director general, Üllar Lanno, is to visit the hospital on 7 December as the surge of the new coronavirus cases and the operability of the health-care system in Ida-Virumaa are in a critical condition.

“We’ve started to recruit volunteer medical workers to solve the personnel issue at the Ida-Viru County central hospital and the Narva hospital,” Lanno said in a statement, adding that at Narva Hospital alone, around a hundred members of the staff have fallen ill and can’t work.

“The situation in Ida-Virumaa is critical in every sense. To rectify the situation, the state entities, the local governments, companies and people will need to unite their efforts,” Lanno noted.

Over five thousand active cases

In Ida-Viru County, there are 967.5 novel coronavirus cases per every 100,000 people, which is almost four times as many as the Estonian average. The eastern regional office of the Estonian Health Board has over 6,400 people under monitoring, 1,387 of them have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

As of 6 December, there are 5,255 active novel coronavirus cases in Estonia, of whom 255 people are hospitalised, 25 in intensive care. Thirteen people are under ventilators, 131 people have died of the virus.

In the last 14 days, there has been 395.42 positive cases per every 100,000 people. In the past 24 hours leading to 6 December, five people – all of them older than 70 – died of the virus.

Cover: Ida-Viru County central hospital.

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