RIGA - The situation with the Covid-19 pandemic in Latvia is still very serious, the omicron wave has not yet peaked, therefore calls by some politicians and entrepreneurs for an immediate lifting of all restrictions are untimely, Health Minister Daniels Pavluts (Development/For) said in an interview with TV3 channel Tuesday.
"We are making sensible steps at a realistic pace," the health minister said.
On realizing that the dominant omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus causes milder illness than the previous coronavirus strains, the government has focused attention on economic considerations as it decides on the further management of the pandemic, Pavluts said.
Also, the Latvian government's decisions have been influenced by other countries' Covid-19 policies, which have put certain pressure on Latvia's decision-making process, the health minister said.
In Pavluts' words, the only issue that still remains unresolved is the use of Covid-19 certificates from April in sectors where they will still be required in March - health and social care and education. The minister believes that the government will decide the matter within a week.
As the epidemiological situation normalizes, it will be necessary to revise additional payments to medics, which might happen in the second quarter of the year. At present, the additional payments make up a substantial part of the salaries that are paid to medics working with Covid-19 patients.
As reported, the government today will decide on a strategy for phasing out Covid-19 restrictions.