Epidemiologists have managed to trace nearly all Covid-19 transmission chains - Perevoscikovs

  • 2020-07-20
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Epidemiologists from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) have managed to trace nearly all chains of Covid-19 transmission in Latvia, Jurijs Perevoscikovs, head of the CDC Infectious Disease Risk Analysis and Prevention Department, told LETA. 

Looking back at the Covid-19 cases confirmed in Latvia in the past couple of weeks, Perevoscikovs said that a large number of these cases were tracked down to transmissions at public catering establishments, as well as foreign travel. Several cases related to return from abroad are currently in the process of investigation. 

"The good news is that transmission chains in nearly all outbreaks have been traced - who got the infection from whom. There have also been secondary cases after someone has been to a foreign country. A rather big outbreak was tracked down to a person who had been to a foreign country and did not isolate for two weeks upon return," the expert said, adding that even cases which initially appear to be quite unclear, could eventually be traced by interviewing people more thoroughly. 

A less typical case involved a person who had contracted the coronavirus on public transport, the Liepaja-Saldus-Riga bus, which had an infected person among its passengers some while ago. The CDC issued an appeal for all passengers of that particular bus trip to come forward and get tested.

Perevoscikovs indicated that in the past seven days the Covid-19 rate in Latvia dropped again, as the number of new cases decreased by about 50 percent. In Europe meanwhile, the epidemiological situation is different - as the number of new cases in the EU has risen by 17 percent over the past two weeks. 

"In this context Latvia looks better, as the incidence is still low. The disease is not spreading uncontrollably in society - all cases have been tracked down to travel or known outbreaks," Perevoscikovs said. 

The expert believes that the existing Covid-19 restrictions should not be lifted or eased, because it is also necessary to follow the spread of the disease elsewhere, including some EU member states that lifted their restrictions too early. 

"Currently, we have very lax restrictions," the CDC representative said. 

As reported, no new Covid-19 cases have been registered in Latvia after testing 1,297 people for the Covid-19 coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control told LETA.

To date, a total of 182,225 Covid-19 tests have been carried out in Latvia and 1,192 people have tested positive. The virus has killed 31 people and 1,022 people have recovered from Covid-19.

No new Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized in the past 24 hours. Of the three Covid-19 patients currently being treated in hospital, all have symptoms of moderate severity. Altogether, 187 patients have been discharged from hospitals, but this number includes both recoveries and fatalities.