Expert says Covid-19 situation remains too complicated to consider changing restrictions in Latvia

Currently there is no need to impose new epidemiological restrictions in Latvia, but it’s also too soon to ease existing ones, said Riga Stradins University Public Health and Epidemiology Faculty lead, Prof. Ģirts Briģis said in an interview to TV3 programme 900 seconds.
He explains the epidemiological situation in Latvia has stabilised – Covid-19 infection rates do not go down but there is also no major increase observed either. «And considering all this, politicians, businesses and representatives of different sectors are interested in easing certain restrictions. However, it is too soon to consider giving people more freedom. I’m not saying we need new restrictions,» said the epidemiologist. He adds – if infection rates go down on Christmas, there would be a bigger chance of lifting the state of emergency as early as 11 January 2022.
The professor does not say resident’s «must not» meet with their relatives and close relatives for Christmas. At the same time, however, he does say residents absolutely must not attend public events and avoid going abroad, especially considering the threat of Omicron variant of Covid-19.
When asked to comment on how dangerous the new Covid-19 variant is, the specialist said it has not been studied enough to make any decisive conclusions.
The biggest concerns are related to the possibility of Omicron variant being more contagious than the Delta Covid-19 variant that is currently found in Latvia. Nevertheless, there is no objective reason to believe it could be more dangerous for human health. «But I should say this now – there is very little evidence. The Omicron variant is about ten days old, as far as we know,» says Briģis.
He predicts the first laboratory test results may come in this week or the next. Then it will become more or less clear whether or not people’s immune system and antibodies can deal with the new variant of the virus.
The expert voiced joined Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš’s invitation for residents to switch to FFP2-type respirators in public places, as this respirator type provides better protection against Covid-19.