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Emergency service wary of even larger influx of patients in Latvia

If more contagious types of Covid-19 begin to spread in Latvia, hospitals could have 2-3 times more patients than currently, Liene Cipule, head of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), told Latvian Television January 29.

Currently, approximately 1,000 Covid-19 patients are treated in hospitals. If new strains of Covid-19 spread or a third outbreak occurs, the number could rise to 2000-3000, the head of NMPD said.

She said that these forecasts for the third outbreak of Covid-19 and potential consequences are “very challenging” and the industry is doing everything to prepare for it. Increasing numbers of patients would lead to “war medicine” conditions. “There may come a time when the number of patients is very high,” Cipule said.

She said that a number of options are being considered to increase the number of beds.

If there is a large influx of patients, help will come from those working in the private sector, including students, some of whom are already helping in the treatment and care of Covid-19 patients.

Cipule said the current situation is stabilizing but still bad and challenging for medics and also those working in social care centers. Every day NMPD receives around 100 calls.

The load in hospitals is still high. The total hospital load is around 70%, varying by region. One of the busiest hospitals is Stradiņš Hospital, Cipule said.

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