Latvia would 'like to avoid lockdown', says Health Minister

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With the increasing incidence of Covid-19, it would be desirable to avoid closing schools and imposing lockdowns, Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts told Latvian Television on January 11.

According to him, the critical time to start thinking about new restrictions is at 800 Covid-19 patients in hospitals.

“(..) In the autumn Delta wave, we saw a rapid increase in mortality at the time when Covid-19 patients in hospitals exceed 1,000. The system can no longer cope with the same quality. It's congestion, it's too much. Therefore, it is essential that at 800 [Covid-19 patients in hospitals] we still have time to adjust and try to slow down this increase,” said the minister.

Pavļuts said that the situation in hospitals is not so dramatic at the moment, but Latvian residents should be prepared to limit social contacts in the event of the situation getting worse.

"We know [how to do it] – more remote work than now. It is, perhaps, limits of some working hours or some other things. What we don't offer right now is a lockdown. We would like to avoid curfews, closed schools, and services that are not provided at all. We should try to avoid this, but it is all in our own hands. Because the number of contacts should be reduced by some 25%, in parallel to a smooth booster vaccination, so that this wave does not sweep everything away again," the minister said.


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