The 24 hour period from March 5-6 saw a further 16 patients tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus, with all results proving negative, the Disease Control and Prevention Center (SPKC) reported Friday morning.
The total number of patients tested in Latvia since January 29 now stands at 186, with just one positive test recorded. That patient quickly recovered from her symptoms and subsequently recorded a negative result when tested again.
On March 5 the SPKC also said it had been contacted by the authorities in Estonia about a COVID-19 confirmed case in Estonia. Two residents of Latvia have been identified as persons who had been in contact with a patient and recommendations have been given to them accordingly.
Four of the five patients who have tested positive in Estonia had travelled via Rīga International Airport, the major regional transport hub.
Meanwhile the Latvian Health Ministry has published its daily update on the coronavirus situation (in Latvian) which includes the information that a coronavirus information line is available by calling the SPKC on 67387661 (work days from 08:30 until 17:00) while anyone suspecting they may have contracted the virus following a visit to an affected area such as northern Italy or China should call the emergency number 113 for further assistance.
In linked news, the Latvian Foreign Ministry updates its travel alerts regarding areas of coronavirus infection. Alerts have been updated for several countries: Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Georgia, Israe and Turkey.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that all travelers be cautious and carefully assess the need for a particular trip. It is up to the travelers themselves to decide whether to visit certain countries,” the ministry said.
LTV meanwhile reported that Latvian scientists are among those worldwide searching for an effective vaccine for the virus. Kaspars Tārs, director of studies at the Latvian Center for Biomedical Research and Studies told LTV:
“We are developing various vaccines, most of them currently for veterinary diseases. We have a very good partner in Switzerland, and in fact he put this current idea to us for two research groups to do something on this particular virus vaccine. In fact, we have already taken some steps,” Tārs said.
“Of course, the competition in this field is extremely strong, and there are already dozens of scientific groups who have announced that they will make a vaccine, but only time will tell who succeeds,” said Tārs.