Infectologist: Nothing is really over in Latvia

“Nothing really is over”, COVID-19 has not been defeated, and so far there has been a great deal of work to make Latvia a relatively safe country, the Ministry of Health's chief infectologist Uga Dumpis told Latvian Radio on June 26.

The fact that no new cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected in Latvia for five consecutive days is good news, but it should be noted that there were holidays and many medical institutions and doctors were not working (though testing did continue), Dumpis said in an interview with Latvian Radio.

“I am an optimist, but another five days need to pass for conclusions to be reached,” said Dumpis.

If the number of cases is not high in the coming days, it will be possible to judge that the situation is indeed stable and there is no internal threat in Latvia, the threat will mainly be from abroad where the situation is deteriorating, said the infectologist.

“We cannot be sure, […] cannot say that we have won this epidemic."

However, if the situation does improve, it would be possible to consider lifting some restrictions, but large-scale events are not to be permitted indoors.

Dumpis said he could consider the possibility of abolishing the mandatory use of face masks on public transport. In his opinion, this requirement could be lifted if the number of cases is low and the risks are low.

“Nothing really is over, we're fine because we worked a lot on it to go well. Above all, do not be reckless, don't assume that the virus has passed," said the infectologist.

In his opinion, vacations abroad should also be discouraged this summer. The situation may change rapidly and any restrictions or quarantine may be introduced again in the country of destination.

He acknowledged that infectologists are already preparing for a second wave of infection, as world statistics show such a trend is likely.

Meanwhile, the vaccine forecasts are improving and vaccines could be available by the end of this year or early next year.

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