Karins to propose to government stricter measures to help curb spread of Covid-19

  • 2020-10-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins has convened a joint meeting of the Crisis Management Council and the Cabinet of Ministers to decide on stricter measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, LETA was informed by the Prime Minister's Office.

The joint meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Crisis Management Council will take place on Tuesday, October 27, at 10 am.

According to the meeting documents, the officials will hear the Health Ministry's report in the epidemiological situation, health care system capacity, and strategy for curbing Covid-19 spread.

Also, the report on the strategic communication on curbing Covid-1 spread and procurement of hygienic face masks and gloves will be heard.

It is not known at this time what restrictions the government could decide on, however, the Prime Minister's Office noted that the joint meeting will discuss the government's overall strategy to curb the spread of Covid-19, including stronger security measures and a significant increase in testing capacity.

"Currently, we see that the virus is still spreading in Latvia, which requires immediate action now, so that it is not too late to learn from the experience of other countries and the virus does not get the upper hand. In order to prevent overcrowding of hospitals and, consequently, the occurrence of healthcare crisis, and thus protecting public health, I will encourage the government to decide on stricter safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19," Karins emphasized.

The Prime Minister noted that the joint meeting is planned to examine and discuss in detail the general strategy of the government to limit the spread of Covid-19 in order to make it understandable to every member of society. The Prime Minister will also call for a decision on the necessary actions to significantly increase the scope of testing.

The experts invited to the meeting will inform the government about the current situation regarding the spread of Covid-19, the capacity of the healthcare sector, hospital workload, reserves of personal protective equipment, Covid-19 infection control strategy and government communication.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry's state secretary Daina Murmane-Ubrasko told the press today that the ministry at present does not plan to propose new restrictions.

She said that the Health Ministry is focusing on increasing capacity of hospitals, and it is the ministry's priority.

Murmane-Umbrasko said that the latest restrictions came into force today, and the Health Ministry would ask the government to wait for a week at least to see whether the current restrictions bring any results. At the same time, the Health Ministry has developed a strategy, a risk table with measures that will be published this week to show possible further steps. It will also be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers.

As reported, Latvia registered 79 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, according to the data of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

Also, another four persons died from Covid-19 related complications yesterday - two persons were in the 55 to 60 age group, while the rest in the 80 to 95 age group.

With 2,237 Covid-19 tests carried out in the past 24 hours, the share of positive tests has hit 3.5 percent. The CDC explained earlier that in the European Union this indicator is considered important because when this figure rises above 3 percent, the spread of the disease is considered to be rapid and uncontrolled.

To date, 4,757 people in Latvia have tested positive for Covid-19, and 1,357 of them have recovered from the coronavirus disease.