RIGA - Medics are concerned about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, Rinalds Mucins, board chairman of Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital (Stradins Hospital), said in an interview with Latvian Television on Monday.
Mucins indicated that the hospital is currently seeing a drop in Covid-19 cases, with fewer than 40 Covid-19 patients currently receiving treatment at Stradins Hospital. At the same time, medics are concerned about next year as they anticipate a rise in Covid-19 patients due to the new omicron variant. The hospital therefore remains on high alert and preparing for a fresh influx of coronavirus patients.
The hospital is also seeing the number of vaccinated Covid-19 patients grow as the percentage of vaccinated people in Latvia's population increases. "The virus mutates, and there is this new omicron variant now," Mucins said, noting that the effectiveness of the existing vaccines are slightly weaker against omicron than against the previous virus strains.
Mucins said that booster shots are now available to all medics but that only about half of Stradins Hospital's staff have chosen to get the third vaccine dose. The hospital's administration is doing everything to increase the vaccine uptake but people are getting tired of the new requirements, the head of the hospital admitted.
The hospital is also regarding the easing of Covid-19 restrictions at the end of the year, including permission for entertainment venues to stay open on New Year's Eve, with concerns. "We saw that the restrictions allowed us to survive the crisis in October and November even easier than expected," Mucins said.
The lifting of existing restrictions and spread of the new omicron variant might result in a much bigger Covid-19 upsurge than we saw in the fall, Mucins warned.