Second and third cases of coronavirus confirmed in Latvia

Officials in Latvia confirmed March 8 a second case of the COVID-19 coronavirus has been detected in the country, and later in the day also confirmed a third case.

The Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) said the second case had been confirmed following the latest batch of tests, meaning that two cases had now been recorded out of a total of 222 tests carried out.


LSM's Latvian language service reported the new patient was female and returned to Latvia March 7 from a week in an Italian mountain resort.​​​​​​ aboard airBaltic flight Milan-Riga, number BT630. There were reportedly just 39 passengers aboard, including 25 from Latvia.

All passengers must remain in "home quarantine" for 14 days under the supervision of a family doctor, the SPKC said, and added it was possible other passengers on this flight may also develop COVID-19.

"There are very likely other cases here, especially for members of the tourist group who spent this time together in a mountain resort," said SPKC department director Jurijs Perevoščikovs at a Sunday morning press conference.

That prediction proved accurate within hours with a third case confirmed, reportedly a fellow family member of the second patient who returned on the same flight.

In related news, airBaltic anounced that it had "made the decision at the moment to immediately suspend all flights to/from Milan and Verona until the end of April. Passengers who have bookings for the affected flights will be contacted individually."

airBaltic added that it has provided all necessary information about flight BT630 and is working closely with Latvian authorities.

"In line with the preventive measures of the airline the complete disinfection of the aircraft will be finished in the upcoming hours. The aircraft already had an additional disinfection on March 7. The involved cabin crew has been temporarily freed from further duties," airBaltic said.



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