'Indian' Covid-19 strain in Latvia causes concern, says epidemiologist

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The so-called Indian Covid-19 strain has been discovered in nine people over the past five weeks, and one of them has died, Jurijs Perevoščikovs, epidemiologist at the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) said at the government meeting on June 1.

The so-called British type currently dominates Latvia and is found in 96% of the cases. The Indian case has been discovered in six Latvian residents and three foreigners but none of the cases are linked to travel, said Perevoščikovs. The spread of the Indian type is concerning since it is very contagious.

The youngest patient of the Indian strain was aged between 10 and 19, while the oldest was aged between 70 and 79. All nine of them had symptoms. One of the ill people is hospitalized. Four cases have been registered in Rīga, one in Jūrmala, Olaine municipality, Garkalne municipality, Alsunga municipality and Bauska municipality.

Perevoščikovs said that the number of people with the Indian Covid-19 type is not high, but that it could become dominant due to its high contagiousness.

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