Epidemiologist: crisis within the health care system has already begun

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One of the ways to lessen the number of Covid-19 infections and the number of hospitalizations would be to put additional restrictions on the unvaccinated, the head of the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at Riga Stradins University, Professor Ģirts Briģis told the LETA newswire September 19.

He also noted that there is no "brake handle" that can be pulled to improve the situation immediately. With regard to stricter restrictions, Brigis emphasized that a complete lockdown could also be imposed, but that this would not be acceptable to the public and not necessary for the vaccinated population.

"Restricting the unvaccinated is what should be done and, I admit, will most likely be done. Of course, this is just one way, because there are very few options and mechanisms to reduce the spread of the infection," he said.

Asked to comment on the current Covid-19 incidence, the professor assessed that there is a stable and clear increase in the number of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations in Latvia, which had been predicted before. He also pointed out that hospitals are overcrowded and beds are being re-profiled at the expense of other illnesses.

"The situation is bad. Yesterday we heard in the news that the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) is overburdened and it is difficult for them to cope. This means that a crisis within the health care system has already begun," said Briģis.

Regarding the increase in the number of Covid-19 infected and hospitalized, the professor stressed that this is primarily due to the relatively low proportion of the vaccinated population. The spread of the Delta variant is also of considerable importance. These two conditions create the situation as it is now, said the expert.

Asked what the forecasts for the next two to three months are, the professor replied that, judging by the current dynamics, the number of Covid-19-infected people doubles every two weeks and it is easy to predict what will happen in the coming weeks if no additional mechanisms are put in place to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

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