E-song festival is still too risky, say Latvian Children's Hospital doctors

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The best option would be to postpone Youth Song and Dance Festival and not hold it in the offered e-format, Children's Clinical University Hospital (BKUS) specialists said in a statement May 21.

BKUS representatives call not only the government, but also every municipality and family to be aware that the risks of spreading Covid-19 are too high.

Song festivals only concern some pupils, but all children and their families are looking forward to returning to school and being in a safe environment. While there are still very high rates of morbidity in Latvia and the total vaccination proportion is not yet sufficient, but new and more contagious virus types are spreading around the world, encouraging people to gather is a disproportionate risk, hospital specialists have indicated.

In their view, this could lead to a particularly rapid and uncontrollable spread of the virus, mixing groups of people who have not been in contact until now, even if it is only within the same municipality.

"It should be noted that children, young people and adults will meet not only during the Song Celebration, but they will also need rest periods and the possibility of eating a meal. In addition, after the festival, they will return to households where the virus obtained during the festival can be passed on," noted the specialists.

The number of children and young people with Covid-19 who need hospital treatment has been steadily increasing since January and children of all ages are affected by acute Covid-19. The incidence of Covid-19 in children is directly proportional to the increase in morbidity across society.

By the end of April, 80 children with acute Covid-19 had received treatment at the hospital. The average duration of treatment in BKUS is seven days.

BKUS recalled that vaccination of children in Latvia is not currently being carried out, so it is most important to take advantage of the available opportunity to vaccinate adults and young people aged 16.

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