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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 05.07.2022, 05:43

Professor: 1% Latvians could have already formed immunity towards Covid-19

BC, Riga, 16.06.2020.Print version
Comparing the morbidity rates in Norway, Sweden and Latvia, it could be assumed that about 1 percent of the population in Latvia has formed immunity towards Covid-19, Professor Girts Brigis, head of the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at Riga Stradins University, told LETA.

Although many infected with Covid-19 are often asymptomatic, the incidence is still too low to account for a significant proportion of the immune population. Referring to a recent study by US and British scientists, which concluded by mathematical modeling that collective immunity develops more slowly than previously thought, the professor admits that in the case of Latvia it would not have a significant impact on the spread of the virus.

Thus, Brigis emphasizes what epidemiologists and infectologists have said all along: "as long as the virus is present, there is a possibility that it will spread". According to the professor, a second Covid-19 wave is expected in the future.

Among the already eased restrictions, the professor is most concerned about the opening of international borders, as the resumption of travel with other countries, where the incidence is higher than in Latvia, increases the risks of infection.

In addition, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the incidence in Latvia is relatively low, which on the one hand means that there is reason to think about easing restrictions, but that safety is being sacrificed for economic recovery, Brigis notes.

Asked whether the current 14-day cumulative measure of 15 cases per 100,000 population is appropriate, the professor said, "this figure is a trade-off between the economy and health". "I am also not deeply convinced that this figure is justified in medical science," Brigis added.

The professor sees the opening of borders to third countries, such as Russia or the United States, as more of an economic or political issue, noting that "the reasons for such a plan are not related to health issues". "Of course, it must be understood that such an opening significantly increases the risk of spreading the infection," adds the professor.

As reported, after 695 Covid-19 tests conducted on Sunday, no new coronavirus cases have been registered in Latvia for a second consecutive day, according to the data released by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control released yesterday. 

There are still 252 active Covid-19 cases remaining in Latvia. 

The total number of Covid-19 tests has thus risen to 128,145. Of the 1,097 Covid-19 patients diagnosed in Latvia, 845 have recovered and 28 patients have died. 

According to the data from the National Health Service, the Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized in the past 24 hours. There are currently seven Covid-19 patients being treated in hospitals, including six with moderate symptoms and one with severe symptoms.

A total of 170 Covid-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals. 

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