Health Ministry: local restrictions likely to follow COVID-19 outbreaks

In the event of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in Latvia, restrictions will be local, said Ilmārs Dūrītis, parliamentary secretary of the Ministry of Health to Latvian Television October 1.

Currently, each outbreak should be assessed. “It is likely that new restrictions will be focused on local points – cities and regions,” Dūrītis said.

Meanwhile, if the situation deteriorates rapidly, one of the first steps could be the use of face masks in public places. At the moment, this requirement is not mandatory but encouraging.

This week, the incidence of COVID-19 in Latvia has increased, reaching a cumulative rate of 17.6 per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks. As a result, Latvia has exceeded the criterion after which need to self-isolate travelers need to self-isolate.

As COVID-19 spread has increased in Latvia, it makes no sense to leave this threshold at the same number. The decision whether to raise it could be taken Friday. “In our country too, the risk of becoming infected, although lower, is still increasing,” said Dūŗītis.

He said that the changes could be gradual, but that threshold certainly could not reach 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.

“I don’t think it’s going to be raised too much,” he added.

“Whether soaring or declining, the numbers show that we all have to become more careful again like in the spring. All of us now are responsible, less can be blamed on  arrivals,” said the Head of the Infectology Department of Riga Stradiņš University, Professor Ludmila Vīksna. She added that it is important that there are not many severely ill COVID-19 patients in Latvia.


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