Latvija in brief - 2006-10-04

  • 2006-10-04
The Navy Coast Guard saved two men lost at sea for two days on Oct. 2. The recreational sailors drifted out to sea on Sept. 30 when their boat's engine broke down. One of the boater's company called the coast guard on Oct. 2 when he failed to show up for work. He was last seen taking his boat out to sea on Sept. 30. A helicopter and a rescue boat found the missing man and his sailing partner drifting in the sea about 22 kilometers off Skulte Port in north-eastern Latvia, after a short search. The boaters did not have any radio communication means on board and were unable to contact authorities. The health condition of the rescued boaters was reported as normal.

A two-month-old baby died after being thrown from a fourth-floor window last weekend. Medics from the eastern Latvian town of Jekabpils informed police that a child from Livani, eastern Latvia, had been hospitalized with grave injuries and later died. The baby's father had also alerted police about the incident. After returning home early on Sept. 30, he discovered that his 27-year-old wife and another woman had been drinking at the apartment. The mother of the baby was unable to explain the disappearance of the child. When the father left for work he found the baby lying on the ground. The mother, most likely, had thrown the child out of the window, state police spokeswoman Ieva Reksna said. The police intend to launch a criminal procedure over the death of the baby.

Several Latvian troops participating in international missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo have complained about the lack of a possibility to vote in Latvia's upcoming general election. Latvian military spokesman Normunds Stafeckis said National Armed Forces commander Juris Maklakovs had ordered an internal probe to find out why Latvian servicemen in Afghanistan and Kosovo were not provided with opportunities to vote in the elections. The complaints have been received from those servicemen who either missed their chance to vote through the Latvian Embassy in Germany, or will not be in Latvia on election day, Oct. 7, the military spokesman said. Currently, Latvia has 35 troops in Afghanistan, two in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nine in Kosovo and one officer in Georgia.

A total of 342 cases of meningitis were registered in the southeastern region of Latgale as of Sept. 28. The outbreak seems to be concentrated in the larger cities, Public Health Agency representative Laura Bundule said, with 105 meningitis cases registered in Rezekne and 237 in Latvia's second largest city, Daugavpils. Luckily, the outbreak is slowing, she added. Bundule said that one strain of enterovirus meningitis had been observed in Rezekne, but three different strains were found in Daugavpils. Most of the meningitis patients are children aged 7-14 years. This is the largest outbreak of meningitis in Latvia during the last decade. Epidemiologists in Daugavpils have experience in curbing the spread of the disease due to an earlier outbreak in 1997.