Regarding the Declation of Emergency Situation
What is the current situation in the EU regarding COVID-19?
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is in continuous contact with the European Commission and the World Health Organization regarding the assessment of this outbreak. To inform the European Commission and the public health authorities in Member States of the ongoing situation, ECDC publishes daily summaries and continuously assesses the risk for EU citizens. ECDC and WHO have developed technical guidance to support the EU Member States in their response. The European Commission is ensuring the coordination of risk management activities at EU level.
What is the current situation in Latvia regarding COVID-19?
This outbreak is evolving rapidly, and the risk assessment is changing accordingly. Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) is continuously assessing the risk for Latvia’s citizens and you can find the latest information and daily updates on Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) website section about coronavirus: https://spkc.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/get/nid/757 and on website of Ministry of Health: http://www.vm.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/koronavirusa_izraisita_slimiba_covid19/
Protection measures for persons who have recently traveled
Travellers who have arrived in Latvia from affected area, should take special protection measures – self-isolation and carefully monitor their health for 14 days after their arrival in Latvia incl., taking body temperature twice a day. These requirements do not apply to transport service personnel returning from business trips if they do not show signs of acute respiratory infection and are not recognized as contact persons.
If sudden onset of at least one of the following simptoms occors – cough, fever, shortness of breath please restrict contact with people nearby, but in case it is not possible, keep distance of at least two meters from them, and call 8303 immediately.
If the symptoms are mild, the State Emergency Medical Service will come to your place of residence (e.g., home, hotel, etc.) and collect the samples required for the diagnostic testing. You will not be taken to the hospital and will remain in your residence. In case of positive results, you will get information by phone and contact tracing will commence immediately by epidemiologists of Centre for Diseases prevention and Control. Please follow further recommendations of the local health authority.
If the symptoms are severe, the State Emergency Medical Service will take you to the hospital and the diagnostic testing will be done while you will be hospitalized.
What should I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, you should immediately call the number 8303 and inform the health care provider about your symptoms and of any recent travel
- If the symptoms are mild, the State Emergency Medical Service of Latvia (NMPD) will come to your place of residence (e.g., home, hotel, etc.) and collect the samples required for the diagnostic testing. You will not be taken to the hospital and will remain in your residence.
- If the symptoms are severe, the State Emergency Medical Service of Latvia (NMPD) health care providers will take you to the hospital and the diagnostic testing will be done while you are in hospitalization.
- Positive results, who had not been hospitalized, will be telephoned, and contact tracing will commence immediately by SPKC epidemiologists. Please follow further directions of the local health authority.
If you have any questions regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 and your travels, please call Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) help line 67387661 (open 8.30-19.00 working days).
For more information about calling for medical help in Latvia visit http://www.nmpd.gov.lv/en/
You can download and print or share materials in English here https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Recommendations for international travellers
It is prudent for travellers who are sick to delay or avoid travel, in particular for elderly travellers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.
General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travellers.
Medical information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19
- The virus can cause mild, flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, tiredness. More serious cases develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock that can lead to death.
- The incubation period for COVID-19 (i.e. the time between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms) is currently estimated at between two and 14 days.
- At this stage, we know that the virus can be transmitted when people who are infected show flu-like symptoms. It is currently believed that people who are infected but who do not show symptoms cannot transmit the virus.
- Generally elderly people and those with underlying health conditions (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer) are considered to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms.
- Disease in children appears to be relatively rare and mild. A large study from China suggested that just over 2% of cases were under 18 years of age. Of these, fewer than 3% developed severe or critical disease.
- There is no published evidence yet on the severity of illness among pregnant women after COVID-19 infection. ECDC will continue to monitor the emerging scientific literature on this question, and suggests that all pregnant women follow the same precautions for the prevention of COVID-19, including regular handwashing, avoiding individuals who are sick, and self-isolating in case of any symptoms, while consulting a healthcare provider by telephone for advice.
- There is no specific treatment for this disease, so healthcare providers treat the clinical symptoms (e.g. fever, difficulty breathing) of patients. Supportive care (e.g. fluid management, oxygen therapy, etc.) can be highly effective for patients with symptoms.
Official information about COVID-19 spread in Latvia
Official information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in English
WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.