Number of new Covid-19 cases tends to drop, but it is too early to celebrate victory - Perevoscikovs

  • 2020-04-17
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - There is a trend for the number of new Covid-19 cases to drop, but, potentially deciding on easing restrictions, it is necessary to introduce other solutions that would curb the coronavirus, said Jurijs Perevoscikovs, head of the Infectious Disease Risk Analysis and Prevention Department at the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, in an interview with LETA.

The number of positive Covid-19 cases is declining, but it is necessary to wait for the weekend because the week has not ended yet, he said.

"The number of tested people is growing from week to week, at the same time, the number of positive tests is declining. This week is not over yet, but the initial data suggest that there will be a decline," he said, at the same time, unpleasant surprises are no excluded, for example, experts should still investigate the situation in Zilais Krusts homeless shelter in Riga.

Perevoscikovs said that there is also a declining trend in the EU, while some European countries still report a growth in the number of new cases.

The countries with restrictive measures show stabilization or a decline, but it does not mean that Latvia can celebrate victory because the Covid-19 curbing process will be long, and Latvia should be very careful when easing the restrictive measures.

"There should be a balance between the distancing measures and work load of the health care system," he said.

Asked about possible easing of restriction after May 12, the specialist said that Latvia may not look at other countries how they ease their restriction, because from the very start restrictions in Latvia have not been as severe as in some other countries, for example, many places were not totally closed.

"If we ease the restrictive measures, we need time to prepare for that. There are discussions of experts, we are thinking in this direction. If we give a freedom for people to get together again, we should find other solutions so that the virus is not free," he said, adding that many other countries, for example, have introduced masks in public places, where distancing is not that essential.

"Masks protect only if everybody is using them. It means that if someone is infected, he or she will not spread the virus further," said Perevoscikovs.

He underscored that the current trend in declining spread of the virus is a result of measures there there are fewer people on streets and people follow hygiene standards. At the same time, these restrictions have resulted also in a situation other virus infections decrease.

As reported, of the 1,535 people tested for Covid-19 during the past 24 hours seven were diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, according to information released by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 positive patients in Latvia to 682, while the total number of people tested for Covid-19 has risen to 32,837.

Of the 42 Covid-19 patients that are being treated in hospital at the moment, 37 are cases of moderate severity and five are severe cases. 61 patients have been discharged from hospital.