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Almost half of Latvia's Covid-19 cases have the British strain, says expert

Nearly half of the positive Covid-19 tests have been identified as the more contagious, British type, Chairman of the Biomedical Research and Studies Centre Jānis Kloviņš told Latvian Television March 23.

He explained that in the Covid-19 positive tests, the British type was found to be more and more common, in 40%-50% of the cases. Investigations in recent weeks also show the so-called Ugandan type, but it has been revealed in one out of a hundred Covid-19 positive cases, and it is unlikely that this type will spread in Latvia.

Similarly, Covid-19 tests have shown that there has been a presence in Latvia of the so-called South African type. Covid-19 vaccines are less effective against this type, so it will be necessary to work on a new vaccine. The positive thing is that antibodies are formed after the illness, and it is not as contagious as the British type.

He said that if the British type of coronavirus did not spread in Latvia, the incidence of Covid-19 would fall much more rapidly and the incidence rate would be significantly lower than at present.

According to Kloviņš, the “right restrictions” in Latvia could reduce the distribution of the new types of Covid-19. In particular, border controls should be stepped up and travel restrictions should be tightened.

According to estimates so far, 4%-10% of the population in Latvia have been affected by Covid-19. However, Kloviņš expressed the hope that vaccination will stop the process of spreading the disease. “I also hope there will be no [disease] elevation,” the researcher said.

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