Since mid-September, Latvia’s count of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 over a week has increased 11 times over, said Jurijs Perevoščikovs, epidemiologist of Center of Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) October 12.
Perevoščikovs explained that three consecutive weeks had seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections. The number of infections increased 11 times last week compared to the week from 14 to 20 September. 51 cases of infection were reported then and 584 were reported in the last week.
Compared to other countries, a cumulative rate of 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants is used. On Monday, October 12, this figure is 51.8 in Latvia. As a result, Latvia has exceeded the Estonian figure of 50.2. In Lithuania it is 62.2.
Looking at Latvia’s municipalities, the highest indicator is in Dundaga. This is followed by Aizpute municipality, Krāslava municipality, Kuldīga municipality, Roja municipality, Daugavpils city, Olaine municipality, Talsi municipality.
In the past week, the number of COVID-19 tests has increased by 1.6 times. At the same time, the proportion of positive results from the total number of tests has also increased to 2.2%.
A critical level could be 4%, exceeding which would mean that the disease spreads widely in society, Perevoščikovs said.
Another significant indicator is the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, which is growing, too. In the past week, 8% of patients have been hospitalized.
This is due to the increased incidence in risk groups and individuals over the age of 60 and to the fact that the disease does not appear to be severe at once. This is a worrying indicator, Perevoščikovs said.
Since the autumn, the SPKC has been working with 59 educational establishments. Eight of them have more than ten infected people, which means the spread of infection within the institution itself and in more than one class.
Currently 156 pupils and 105 school workers are infected with COVID-19.
Perevoščikovs said that the spread can be controlled via the same methods that were used in the spring: physical distancing, remote work, less assembly, hand hygiene and face mask use.
World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Latvia Uldis Mitenbergs tolf Latvian Television that the outbreak is related to people being tired of the restrictions and ignoring them, organizing events, gatherings. He said that the cooperation between the society and SPKC is important and the critical factor of stopping the spread of the disease is the society’s attitude.