Latvian coronavirus case count stands at 34

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An additional 4 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus were confirmed on Latvian territory March 16, raising the total number of cases from 30 on Sunday to 34.

The new figure was released by Health Minister Ilze Viņķele following talks with Predsident Egils Levits and Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš Monday morning.

The figure was confirmed minutes later by the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) which said that of 237 tests during the previous 24-hour period, 4 were positive. In total 1,147 tests have been carried out since February 29.

According to SPKC Infectious Disease Risk Analysis Department Director Jurijs Perevoščikovs, there are currently 250 people who have returned from travels  to Covid-19 infected countries observing self-isolation in their homes. Infectologists suggest that those returning to Latvia from abroad must observe self-isolation by staying home for a 14-day quarantine.

March 13 saw a raft of sweeping measures introduced in an effort to keep coronavirus at bay as much as possible, with further measures including international travel restrictions announced March 15, as previously reported by LSM.

The full rules and regulations are available to read online in English, and all members of the public are urged to read them and comply in a spirit of solidarity. Social interactions are to be reduced to a minimum and frequent and careful hand-washing is urged in a policy characterised as "social distancing".

Relevant information in English is also available at the website of the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC).

Meanwhile ERR News reports the reintroduction of border controls in Estonia where the government agreed at a Sunday e-session to reintroduce temporary border control at the Schengen internal border and surveillance at the national borders from Tuesday, March 17. The new measures only allow Estonians or residence permit holders to enter the country. Estonia currently has 205 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

In Lithuania, LRT News reports the number of confirmed cases has risen to 14 and border controls are also being imposed.

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