Latvian hospitals raise alarm about a third wave of Covid-19

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The Balvi and Gulbene Hospital Association has raised the alarm about an expected third wave of Covid-19, along with the spread of the most contagious type of Covid-19 in the area, Latvian Television reported March 3.

Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts confirmed that hospitals are heavily congested in Vidzeme and Latgale regions.

In Balvi hospital, the load of beds for Covid-19 has reached 100%, which means that there are no longer free beds and patients are forced to wait in line or go to other municipalities. However, as the most contagious type of Covid-19 in the hospital spreads like wildfire, board member of the Association of Balvi and Gulbene Hospitals, Alīda Vāne, is convinced that other hospitals can expect a similar scenario.

“We hadn't recovered from the second wave when the third wave overtook us.

“It is also shown by sequencing data that the new British virus is in both Gulbene and Balvi. We have been watching this increase at a hospital level, which means that this virus has been spreading for two weeks. The beds are 100% occupied. Today, one is discharged and there is a patient waiting in line for this bed. They will be taken either to Rēzekne or to Valmiera. Then, when they are full, maybe to Rīga. And then, when everywhere is full, I don't know where to take them,” Vāne said.

The head of the hospital urged restrictions and epidemiological safety rules to be followed:

“I want to go out on the street and scream loudly: people, come on. You don't have to meet your sister, your brother, your aunt, or your uncle. Employers must ensure that it is safe to work for employees.”

Liene Cipule, chief of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), pointed to the spread of a more contagious type of virus in the Latvia-Estonia border area - Alūksne, Gulbene, Balvi. There, in hospitals, the load of beds for Covid-19 patients is 100%.

The fact that hospitals are heavily congested in Vidzeme and Latgale, the Minister for Health confirmed on LTV: “It should be said that the capacity in Vidzeme's [hospitals] has recently been the largest of all Latvian municipalities. Whether this is directly related to the events in Estonia, I will not argue at this time. But we know that the new type of virus has spread throughout Latvia. But there are more outbreaks in Latgale and Vidzeme."


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