Return to 'normal life' still months away, says Health Minister of Latvia

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We will not be able to return to “normal life” for at least the next half-year, as regards the national restrictions on Covid-19, the Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts said at a press conference  January 26.

The Minister said that, in order to return to the 'normal' rhythm of life, a radical reduction in infection rates would be a prerequisite, going hand in hand with the availability of mass vaccination for the population.

Both Pavluts and Disease Prevention and Control Center's (SPKC) epidemiologist Jurijs Perevoščikovs said that there was currently a reduction in the number of Covid-19 infections in Latvia, but “there is still a long way to go” until the epidemiological situation became stable enough to return to everyday life without the safety measures set in the country.

Pavļuts said that after about a month and a half, the cumulative incidence rate per 100 000 inhabitants could reach 200 cases. This is a threshold where home and European Union epidemiologists propose to ease Covid-19 restrictions. On Tuesday, the cumulative figure is 590.1 cases.

At the same time, the Minister said that the new, most contagious type of coronavirus, which has been identified several times in Latvia. In other European countries, new forms of virus have caused a third “outbreak”, which is also one of the reasons why easing restrictions would not be justified.

Pavluts also mentioned that the government's discussion on extending the emergency after February 7 “is still ahead”.

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