Due to Covid-19 Delta variant, number of people infected could be much higher this year if situation remains similar as last year - Perevoscikovs

  • 2021-07-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Due to the spread of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus around the world, the number of infections could be much higher this year if there is a similar situation and conditions as last year, Jurijs Perevoscikovs, Director of the Infectious Diseases Risk Analysis and Prevention Department of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, told Latvian Television this morning.

He explained that one of the reasons for this was the high contagion of the new variant of the virus. "So if we compare similar conditions in which people could be infected last year and this year - at home or in contact with friends - then such situations are no longer comparable from an epidemiological point of view, because under similar conditions the number of infected people could become much higher," explained the epidemiologist.

Perevoscikovs admitted that in recent weeks the incidence of Covid-19 in Latvia has been decreasing, but the rate of reduction has now become much slower than it was initially. According to estimates by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), infection rates will continue to decline for some time and by next week the cumulative 14-day infection rate per 100,000 population in Latvia could fall below 20, while in Europe as a whole the situation has started to deteriorate by three weeks earlier than last year, the expert said.

"In six countries, the situation is actually deteriorating dramatically, especially Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands, and according to ECDC forecasts, they will be followed by a number of other countries in the near future," Perevoscikovs warned.

Regarding the measures to limit the spread of the disease, which may have to be introduced if the situation worsens again, the CDC representative emphasized that non-vaccinated individual and those who have not been infected with Covid-19 will be at higher risk, therefore he believes that further restrictions should be targeted at the portion of the public that is not immune to the virus.

''In my view, these restrictions will not be uniform. Depending on the risks, the restrictions will mainly apply to people who are at higher risk of infection and also at higher risk of transmitting the infection, ie non-immune people. In my opinion, this will be the case in all countries, and it is based on epidemiological risks," the epidemiologist outlined the possible future scenario.