British officials announced in mid-December that a new version of COVID-19 has become dominant in many parts of the country. A number of countries, including Latvia, stopped traffic with Britain in order to avoid further spread of the new virus type.
The Latvian Biomedical Research and Studies Centre began searching for this virus variant in Latvia last week. A total of 95 samples taken between December 13 and 19 have been tested . Researchers did not find the new strain in any of those.
“This does not exclude the possibility that this new variant of the virus exists in Latvia, but has not yet been able to spread.
The good news is that this variant is certainly not to blame for the increase in the number of infection cases, because in that case we would certainly have seen it in this small number of samples,” said Jānis Kloviņš.
The Biomedical Centre will continue searching for the new virus type in Latvia.
“Knowing that it has already appeared in many other countries, it would be strange if it had not been brought to Latvia. But it doesn't even matter if it's been here. Many viruses change all the time and introduce mutations. Dangerous variants can occur all the time. It's important whether we can stop it and suppress it,” he said.