The responsible institution for outbreak monitoring and activities’ coordination and surveillance is the Ministry of Health in close collaboration with the Center of Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC), who is providing epidemiological monitoring, contact tracing, data analysis and publication of information. Information for the public regarding the outbreak risks and up-to-date situation is regularly updated and located on the website of CDPC (https://spkc.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/preses-relizes/get/nid/763). Information on COVID-19 was released for specialists and public in January 2020, even before the onset of infection cases in Latvia.
Latvia follows the Guidance from the WHO (Guidance on Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infections when novel coronavirus is suspected are applied (https://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/InterimGuidance_ClinicalManagement_NovelCoronavirus_11Feb13u.pdf) and information on respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/191864/WHO-Regional-Office-for-Europe-summary-of-Middle-East-respiratory-syndrome-coronavirus-MERS-CoV,-19-June-2013.pdf
The best measure to reduce the spread of infection is to quickly identify and test for suspicious cases, and to identify and monitor close contacts.
Probable cases and contacts relate to
1) people with symptoms (travellers) from high risk areas;
2) contacts of confirmed cases during travelling, commuting, at work and in public places;
3) family members and persons living in the same apartment or house (household) with a patient with confirmed COVID-19 infection;
4) people admitted to hospitals with upper respiratory infection symptoms;
5) health workers etc.
Contact tracing has been implemented very timely and covering of all new cases tracing since the first case in February 29, 2020, and its implementation (still on-going) is considered to have played an important role in controlling the outbreak during the following month.