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Infectologist Dumpis: little hope for a midsummer party

It is unlikely that the first half of the summer, including the Jāņi (Midsummer) festival there will be much cause for rejoicing and mass gathering, Uga Dumpis, chief infectologist of the Ministry of Health, told Latvian Television April 15.

In response to whether this summer could be as moderate in terms of restrictions as last summer, Dumpis was cautious. He stressed that it depends heavily on society. Moreover, in February and March Latvia did not receive as many vaccines as expected, so the situation will not be as bright in summer.

According to Dumpis, perhaps in August or September there could be similar circumstances as last summer.

Dumpis said that, in his view, the politicians' retreat from the “traffic light principle”, which determined what the cumulative indicator had to be to open different services, was “moving in the wrong direction”. In his opinion, more sectors could be opened up now if the principle had been respected all along.

"There are problems in other countries too. Politicians no longer want to admit that coronavirus exists. People want better news, but it is here and it is causing consequences," said Dumpis.

He also said that vaccination pace is not as important as its quality.

"Vaccination is a medical procedure that needs to be carefully prepared and involves a lot of staff... Vaccinations are a slow ship sailing, and they are not easily stoppable," said the specialist.

At the same time, Dumpis supports the experiment with allowing all residents to line up, given how unpopular vaccines produced by AstraZeneca are. “We have to try and look at how this happens, because the main thing is, of course, to achieve the maximum possible vaccinations,” the infectologist said.

 

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