Latvian government to discuss extension of state of emergency

On Tuesday, January 4, the coalition will discuss the extension of the emergency announced due to the spread of Covid-19, Latvian Television reported.

Medics have expressed the need to retain the restrictions. Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns has stated he does not want to introduce any new restrictions, while Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs called for “reasonable decisions.”

Anesthesiologist Roberts Fūrmanis told Latvian Television that in the autumn, the tight restrictions allowed preventing the worst-case scenario. Currently, the restrictions are good enough, according to Fūrmanis. 

“We should look at the dynamics of the disease, the hospitalizations, the vaccination coverage. And on the basis of these indicators, we have to decide on the way forward,” he said.

At the same time, he said, the rapid distribution of the type of Covid-19 Omicron will depend not on the government, but on the society and its behavior.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns said in an interview to Latvian Radio that, before deciding on the extension of the emergency situation, he wanted answers to a number of questions:

“Our insight is that we have to live in the “green mode” for those who are vaccinated. Data must be received from the Ministry of Health when vaccination is required. Maybe there's a fourth shot in Israel, and we should do the same. And from the Ministry of Economics [we should get an answer] how will we deal with this economic crisis. I will also encourage the Prime Minister to take responsible decisions. And by getting all the answers and seeing the real situation, let's deal with it. "

On the other hand, Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs called for “reasonable decisions”. In particular, he believes that it should be possible to work in the “green regime” for companies that are currently denied work, like indoor entertainment facilities and gambling halls.

“There needs to be a clear decision today on how to live further, as companies are very much looking forward to what will happen after January 11. There are still groups of companies that have not been able to work for months," the minister said.

 

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