Omicron wave in Latvia could last until end of February, says epidemiologist

The wave of the Omicron is expected to be longer in Latvia than in other countries since a large proportion of the population is still unvaccinated, epidemiologist Ņikita Trojanskis told Latvian Television January 19.

This outbreak could last at least until the end of February, Trojanskis said, adding that even if the Omicron is not as dangerous as the Delta, many people will still be in hospitals due to the Omicron being highly contagious.

“I think we can expect very high hospitalization rates in mid-February, over 1,200-1,300 people [in hospitals at the same time]. Other indications show, depending on how we will fight this virus, we could also experience the hospitalization number as high as 3,000 patients,” Trojanskis said.

If Latvia wants to limit the spread of the Omicron, the current restrictions are not enough; the decision to give up fabric masks is a step in the right direction but insufficient, said Trojanskis.

“I think that for a month and a half we have to give up the usual comfort – stop social life, stop cultural life, definitely limit sport indoors and possibly outdoors,” Trojanskis said.

Trojanskis also said that in 4 to 6 months the virus could develop a new variant again, but since there is more immunity acquired in the first waves, the number of hospitalizations might not be as high in the following waves.

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