Third Covid-19 wave expected in two to four weeks - director of Emergency Medical Service

  • 2021-02-24
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The third wave of the Covid-19 outbreak is expected in two to four weeks, which could result in twice as much hospital occupancy at Easter than at Christmas, Liene Cipule, director of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), posted on her Twitter account today.

"We are taking measures to prepare for such a scenario. It is clear that the third wave of the outbreak is expected in two to four weeks," Cipule said. According to her, the workload of hospitals at Easter could be twice as high when compared to Christmas, if as a result of the spread of the UK Covid-19 variant the same scenario will playout in Latvia as elsewhere in Europe.

In this regard, Uga Dumpis, the chief infectologist of the Ministry of Health, also points out on Twitter that further spread and eventual dominance of the UK Covid-19 variant in Latvia seems inevitable to him. "The experience of Canada, Israel, Denmark and the United Kingdom shows that this will mean more outbreaks in kindergartens and schools," the infectologist explains, adding that this should be taken into account when introducing new restrictions or easing current ones.

As reported, it is currently predicted that due to the spread of the new UK variant of Covid-19, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in Latvia could triple in four to six weeks, Dita Heiberga, head of the Emergency Medical Service's (NMPD) Disaster Medical Center, said at a government meeting Tuesday.

"This challenge posed by the new strain would be very difficult for our capacities," Heiberga summed up.

This would mean that the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients could be more than twice as high as during the peak in January, when the number of hospitalized patients exceeded 1,200.