Latvian minister warns of rapid surge of infection cases and possible need for more restrictions

Considering that a rapid surge of Covid-19 Omicron variant infections is expected in Latvia, experts say there is a possibility of up to 3 000 daily infections being found at the start of January, warns Latvian Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts.
So far a total of 32 Omicron cases have been found in Latvia. This includes five local infection cases.
«Omicron, which is several times more contagious than the Delta variant, spreads very quickly. The number of infection cases double every two to three days, not weeks. Western countries are closing down one after another,» says Pavļuts, stressing it is clear the rapid infection wave will soon reach Latvia.
Read also: Europe takes Omicron seriously as lockdown introduced in Netherlands
«Many people in Latvia are waiting for restrictions to be lifted on 11 January, which we promised when the curfew was lifted in November. I don’t know if we can now,» says Pavļuts, inviting colleagues in the government and coalition «to switch their thinking to the Omicron scenario». This means it is entirely possible Latvia may adopt more restrictions.
«I urge residents to spend Christmas with their closest family members. People returning from countries that have high Omicron infection cases should be especially careful,»
says the politician, once again inviting people to vaccinate and boost vaccinate.
It was planned to permit vaccinated and recovered residents to return to security measures that were in place in summer 2021 after 11 January 2022. These measures permit more freedom for gatherings, more open school time and hobby groups, etc.
For non-vaccinated residents, to protect them from infection, severe infection and death, protect hospitals from overload and society from a new curfew, it was planned to preserve existing safety measures and make only basic services accessible.
The politician told Delfi the ruling coalition today and the Cabinet of Ministers tomorrow will ask politicians and colleagues to carefully consider the upcoming return to normal life, as well as new risks and possible developments of the situation in the next three weeks.