RIGA - The easing of Covid-19 restrictions can only be justified if there is a decrease in infection rates, epidemiologist of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Jurijs Perevoscikovs said, commenting the decisions made by the government on Friday.
"Currently, the decline in the infection rate has stopped. We see that the restrictive measures are having an effect, but at the same time there is a reaction of the virus and especially its new variants - there is a balance situation of sorts between restrictions and the response of the virus," Perevoscikovs said.
He said that the prevalence of Covid-19 has fallen by about 50 percent since the first week of the year, when the highest prevalence was observed. At the same time, there have been at least two small increases in the infection rate during this period.
"With these small rises, it is never possible to know whether they will be followed by a further decline, stagnation or a resurgence of infection rates. Past experience has shown that small increases can always occur, but if conditions are favorable, infection rates will continue to decrease. Only in such circumstances can the easing of restrictions be justified, also from an economic point of view, "said Perevoscikovs.
The epidemiologist added that after the upcoming changes in restrictions, shoppers should consider whether to go inside a store that already has a lot of people inside. At the same time, Perevoscikovs said that he is much less worried about retail activities than work collectives - whether they use masks if several people are in the same room, whether the premises are ventilated, or employees with signs of illness do not continue to come to work.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers on Friday agreed on easing restriction in the education process, and partly reopening stores after Easter, allowing only small stores to work.
At present it is planned that these changes will come into force right after Easter, but the exact date will be decided next week, also based on the current epidemiological situation.
In line with the Operational Management Group's proposal, the government supported the plan that after April 7, all small stores may reopen, apart from those in shopping centers.