Latvia has had more imported Covid-19 cases recently

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The number of Covid-19 cases imported into Latvia has doubled, epidemiologist Jurijs Perevoščikovs from the Disease Prevention and Control Center said at a press conference March 17.

The incidence of Covid-19 in Latvia is levelling with the European Union average, having been higher for a long time. There is a reduction in morbidity in Latvia and, at the same time, there is an increase in morbidity in other European countries due to new forms of the virus.

The source of infection remains unknown in half of cases. For the other half, the source of infection has been identified: 60% of cases of virus transmission occurs in households, 15% in the workplace.

Although there was a reduction in morbidity in Latvia, Perevoščikovs said caution must be maintained. There has been an increase in morbidity for two consecutive days, and the 7-day cumulative rate per 100,000 inhabitants has increased from 180 to 198.4 even as the 14-day rate has ticked downwards.

“Whether it will continue, we'll see. But it is a signal that the reduction in morbidity is not always smooth,” added the epidemiologist. Similarly, in recent days, more Covid-19 patients have been treated in hospitals.

At the same time, the SPKC found that the prevalence of the Covid-19 British strain in Latvia is not spreading as fast as in several other European countries. In Latvia, however, every fourth case is linked to the new strain of the virus.

Perevoščikovs also pointed to the Uganda strain of the virus detected in seven people in Liepāja. “It's a lot. It shows local transmission because all these people are not connected,” he explained.

The epidemiologist stressed the need to specifically consider the need for all travel. The number of imported Covid-19 cases has increased in Latvia – it has doubled in recent weeks, said Perevoščikovs.

 “And geography with imported cases is vast, sometimes even a few exotic lands,” Perevoščikovs said.

Special attention was paid to cases of infection brought from Tanzania. It is requested to carry out sequencing of these strains of virus in order to track whether the South African strain of the virus is entering Latvia.

Perevoščikovs also said that he could not rely on third-country data on Covid-19. Tanzania does not provide information, for example. “There's actually zero morbidity. This is due to the fact that there is simply no information. It's not a signal of being safe in this country. Four cases imported show the situation is unfavorable,” he said. 

As of Wednesday, March 17, flights to and from third countries are resumed in Latvia.


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