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PM Kariņš: if infection rates do not fall, there will be movement bans

If within ten days the COVID-19 infection rates do not show signs of coming under control, travel restrictions around Latvia will have to be introduced, said Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš at a press conference December 17.

“If we cannot improve the situation within ten days, then we will be forced to go into full-spectrum travel restrictions, but neither I, the government, nor the public want it. We have the opportunity not to go in that direction. I call for everyone to come together for three weeks. Withstand, limit, change [the situation] with joint forces,” said Kariņš.

Minister for Health Ilze Viņķele said that the restrictions on movement could not be imposed if the curve stabilized, and it would be visible that people were no longer gathering in public places.

Infectologist Uga Dumpis said that life in Latvia currently is not safe, but it is relatively easy to change it. 

"If 1,000 people get sick today, at least 100 will be in hospitals with pneumonia in a week. That means they have colleagues, family members who will go into self-isolation. With such figures, life in Latvia is not safe. It threatens the entire function of the country,” Dumpis said.

He said that the solution was simple: to spend three weeks in one's household.

“Nothing more needs to be done. We can reduce the incidence to a controlled level. If the disease is at a lower level, it is much easier for the healthcare system to respond, to find contacts and to test them to return to the summer situation where we controlled the disease. There is no control at the moment,” said Dumpis.

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