We are still gaining time for more gradual Covid-19 epidemic - Vinkele

  • 2020-03-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The measures Latvia has been taking to curb the spread of Covid-19 are proving effective and the country is still gaining time for a more gradual onset of the epidemic, Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) said in an interview to Latvian Television today.

The minister reiterated that one of the main objectives is to push back the "peak of the outbreak" as far in the future as possible, which is why the spread of the contagion is being constantly monitored and responses to situations are quick.

Today, the Health Ministry will again analyze the situation, particularly focusing on the effectiveness of the social distancing measures introduced in stores.

Vinkele repeatedly stressed the necessity to prevent uncontrolled transmissions and to ensure that medics can still trace infection sources. In that context, Vinkele criticized the conduct of Saeima member Artuss Kaimins, who had misled the public about the circumstances in which he got infected. "If find it unacceptable that a high-ranked official who decides on restrictions for the public himself breaches these restrictions," the health minister said.

Asked when it might be possible to draw conclusions about the spread of Covid-19 among Latvian nationals repatriating from abroad, Vinkele said that this information will be available in two weeks' time but that the tests carried out so far do not suggest of very many cases.

The health minister also promised to "move ahead quickly" with providing 20 percent "crisis premiums" to medics. Vinkele said this might be the government's decision not needing the parliament's consent.