Over 9% of samples had the new strain of Covid-19 last week in Latvia

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Last week, at least 9.34% of tested samples of Covid-19 identified the new contagious strain, Miks Gavars, researcher at the E.Gulbja laboratory, said at the government meeting March 2.

1,071 samples were tested in total. 

The largest number samples with the new strain was found in Rīga (28), Preiļi (17), Gulbene (11) and Jelgava (8). 

Six cases were found in Balvi, four in Madona and Salaspils, three in Kuldīga and Daugavpils, two in Līvāni  and Lubāna, and a single case in Sigulda, Ādaži, Jūrmala, Ogre, Dobele, Cēsis, Ķekava, Krāslava and Rēzekne.

The Latvian Biomedical Research and Studies Center representative Jānis Kloviņš said the number of cases with the new strain had increased by eight percentage points over six weeks. 

Rsearcher Gavars said that the prevalence of the new type has not doubled, as has happened in other countries. On the other hand, Jurijs Perevoščikovs, an epidemiologist at the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC), said that a total of 12 sites were identified in an outbreak had occurred. 

Perevoščikovs forecast that if the situation with Covid-19 in Latvia develops in the same way as in Estonia, there could be more than 1,900 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in Latvia at the beginning of April.

The government is discussing whether to impose new restrictions in  relation to the spread of the new type of the virus. The government's report on the so-called traffic light principle states that if the new, most contagious type of virus is detected in at least 5% of the virus samples tested during the week, stricter restrictions should be considered.

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