RIGA - Given the fast spread of Covid-19 in Latvia, it's time to decide on declaring a state of emergency, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) believes.
After the weekly meeting with coalition partners, the prime minister told journalists that he has called an extraordinary joint meeting of his Cabinet and the Crisis Management Council to hear health experts and decide on further steps.
"I see that the capacity of hospitals is gradually becoming saturated. If the situation does not change, there is a risk of healthcare services being disrupted because of the pandemic. Because of this reason and with the share of positive tests steadily exceeding 4 percent, which is an indication of an uncontrolled spread of the disease, I think that the time has come for us to consider declaring a state of emergency," the prime minister said.
Karins said that this would be necessary in order to enable the government to take measures that it otherwise would not be authorized to take to try and contain the spread of the virus.
"This will not be a unilateral decision, but in my opinion, we are running out of time - the number of patients in hospital is growing by the day. In order not to end up in the situation where the pandemic uncontrollably overwhelms everything, we need to take this decision timely - to take faster measures to get the situation under control," the prime minister said.
"If we take this step, it surely has to be accompanied by a proposal on economic solutions - how to support people and businesses," Karins said.