RIGA - Due to the spread of Covid-19 omicron variant, the state of emergency in Latvia will be extended to February 28, according to amendments to the government decree regarding declaration of the emergency situation that the government approved on Thursday.
The amendments, submitted by the Health Ministry, say that the current epidemiological safety measures must be continued to prevent rapid spread of the infection.
According to the Health Ministry, the new omicron variant started to spread around the world and the European Union at the end of 2021. In some countries the number of new Covid-19 cases has by now exceeded the number of delta cases.
Compared to December 2 last year, the number of new Covid-19 cases in the EU had increased twofold by January 2. In Denmark, for instance, the number of new cases had increased fivefold, in Great Britain and France - fourfold. In Latvia, 644 omicron cases were registered by January 2, which means that the number of new Covid-19 cases in Latvia will increase steeply in the near future, explained the Health Ministry.
Even though omicron causes less severe disease than the delta variant, vaccines are less effective at preventing infection. In addition, if the number of new Covid-19 cases increases too much, this will pose a high risk to unvaccinated residents and may overburden hospitals, said the Health Ministry.