TALLINN - On Oct. 26, the Estonian daily Postimees wrote that Latvia was the only country in the European Union ahead of Estonia in terms of the statistics of new coronavirus cases -- by now, however, Estonia officially leads the European blacklist, the daily writes.
However, according to Irja Lutsar, the head of Estonia’s COVID-19 scientific advisory committee, it cannot yet be seen that the infection numbers in Latvia are starting to fall. "They are quietly stabilizing at a very high level, but no big decrease can be seen," the researcher added.
According to her, there has been no sharp rise in Estonia during the third wave. "COVID-19 cases are going up quietly -- they are not stopping, nor are they rising by leaps and bounds, the situation is the same in hospitals," Lutsar added.
She said that those vaccinated also become infected, but there are only a few people under the age of 50 in hospital due to coronavirus.
"We should follow every rule first," Lutsar stressed, praising the people of Voru -- when she was recently there, everyone wore a mask in the store, and she did not notice anyone without a mask.
"We could cancel all events, including birthday parties at home and meetings with friends," the researcher added. "If we look at Finland and Sweden, the society is responding well to new rules and also getting vaccinated, which is why they have managed without a lockdown," Lutsar said.
She added that people, for whom six months have passed since full vaccination, could contact their family doctor themselves and get a booster shot administered. "One does not have to wait for someone to call, own initiative could be shown as well," Lutsar said.
"We can all make a joint effort to curb Estonia's very high infection rate," she added.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Latvian hospitals increased to 1,526 in the last day, the state health authority said on Sunday. In the last day, 115 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, 18 were discharged.
In the past day, the number of Covid-19 patients in Latvia's hospitals rose from 1,464 on Saturday to 1,526 on Sunday. Health authorities warned earlier that Latvia's hospitals would reach oversaturation if the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients grew beyond 1,500.
Liene Cipule, head of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), said this week that beyond this mark, "medicine as as we know it will end and disaster medicine will begin," which means different principles for choosing treatment methods and reduced possibilities to provide assistance to less severe patients.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is looking for possibilities to deploy more COVID-19 beds, for instance, at a children's infectious diseases hospital which remained unused in recent years and an office building in Pernavas Street in Riga.