RIGA - No new restrictions are needed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the moment, President Egils Levits told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) on Wednesday.
The omicron variant, which is highly contagious but not as deadly as the delta variant, has changed the situation significantly, said Levits.
The government must always keep track of how Covid-19 is spreading in the country, said Levits. He believes that actions that were correct during the spread of the delta variant may not be the right ones during the spread of the omicron variant, and that the government has responded flexibly to the new situation.
The president said that daily new Covid-19 cases could peak in the second half or at the end of February, after which the number would begin to decrease. Capacity of hospitals is the main concern at the moment, which should be strengthened.
Every resident of Latvia has been given the opportunity to protect him or herself by becoming fully vaccinated and receiving a booster shot, said Levits.
Levits stressed that residents must wear FFP2 respirators or medical masks and take other necessary precautions. This way it is possible to protect oneself from serious illness and hospitalization, and contribute to public health as a whole.
Vaccination is still extremely important and must be continued, emphasized Levits. Currently, 80 percent of adults have been vaccinated against Covid-19. This is similar to Europe's average vaccination rate, but there still are people who do not want to get vaccinated for ideological reasons, which is a problem.
Karins, too, called on residents to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot, to use FFP2 respirators or medical masks in public places and in workplaces, and to take tests as often as possible if a person suspects that he or she may have contracted Covid-19.
This strategy is based on the individual responsibility of each and every resident, said Karins. New restrictions is not the way to go at the moment. Karins also emphasized that everyone could protect themselves by getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.
"We can protect ourselves and, in doing so, help the whole of society and the healthcare system," said Karins. "The state gives everyone the opportunity to get vaccinated. Please take this opportunity. If you have not yet received the booster shot, you have to know that it is not too late. And if you have not received the first vaccine, even then it is not too late to do it," he said.