Dumpis: Restrictions should be loosened carefully in Latvia

Latvia should be careful with lifting restrictions when the time comes, said Stradiņš Hospital infectologist, Professor Uga Dumpis in an interview with Latvian Radio November 2.

The restrictions introduced in Latvia are working as Covid-19's growth curve has stopped. “So the morbidity could be said to have stopped and, hopefully, will decline this week. And a week or two could lead to a reduction in the number of patients in hospitals,” said Dumpis.

In his opinion, the return of young pupils to schools will not significantly change the situation as these children are being tested.

Under the original decision, the restrictions will be in place until mid-November, and Dumpis urged caution over the abrupt lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. “I am not saying that the restrictions should not be lifted, but we must look at which restrictions could be lifted and which cannot,” the infectologist said.

He advised the decision-makers to look at forecasts and to explain to the public “how many deaths we have decided to allow” and what morbidity levels we would like to live on. It is also essential to look at the rate of reduction in morbidity and at the same time the activity of seniors vaccinating against Covid-19. Looking at the pace of vaccinations against Covid-19 in recent weeks, it's a pleasant surprise that it's been so rapid. However, it should be noted that at least 15-20% more seniors should be vaccinated in Latvia, said the infectologist.

Moreover, in Latgale, the vaccination coverage is still critically low. “It is therefore scary to imagine what will happen in Latgale if the restrictions are lifted,” added Dumpis.

He also recommended paying special attention to Latgale, including thinking about hospital support. “In my opinion Latgale is in a worse situation than in Riga, if it is calculated on population. And I will remind you that in Latgale, the elderly have vaccinated three times less than in other areas,” said Dumpis.

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