Three Latvian police officers infected with Covid-19

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Three police officers who have tested positive for the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, and one was infected while performing police duties, according to Acting State Police Chief Andrejs Grišins.

In one of the cases the officer was infected while on a work trip abroad. Several other police officers who had been abroad have already completed their 14 days of self-isolation. Colleagues who have been in close proximity to the infected officers are considered contact persons and  are currently observing self-isolation, although none have yet tested positive.

“We still need equipment so that we would have the required reserves for a period of time, but there are shared procurements going on in the country and in the near future I think that the supply situation will improve,” said Grišins.

Although there were problems in the beginning, now all police institutions have access to disinfectant. Patrol police and operative groups have full equipment on calls. With the implementation of the 2-meter rule police vehicle speakers have been provided with warnings reminding people not to gather in groups.

“For the weekend we're planning broader measures in cooperation with municipal police, the national guard has also been forthcoming, and we're going to increase patrols at both beaches, parks and various leisure areas,” said the acting chief.

As previously reported, to mitigate the risks of further spread of Covid-19 among the population, the Latvian government adopted stricter regulations to limit gatherings of people in private and public events, which it said were "in line with the epidemiological situation." 

The new restrictions on physical proximity apply to public indoor and outdoor activities and establish the rule that no more than two people may meet and that they must maintain a distance from each other of at least two meters. Furthermore, during the state of emergency meetings are prohibited - except for the holding of funeral ceremonies outdoors, which will also be subject to a two-meter inter-personal distance.

Any public events, as well as meetings, marches and pickets are prohibited. Indoor sports and religious activities are also prohibited. All encounters in public spaces - indoor, outdoor and communal areas - must comply with the two-meter distancing rule as well.

The only exceptions to the two-person, two-meter rule are persons living in the same household or their parents and their minor children if they do not live in the same household. More than two persons may also meet in one place if it is an essential part of their workplace duties.

Supermarkets and catering facilities will be able to accommodate a number of persons, to be determined by order of the Minister for the Economy, providing the two-meter distance and other epidemiological security measures are observed.

From now on, supplies of medicines, medical devices, personal protective equipment and disinfectants will primarily have to meet national needs. The Minister of Defense will decide on providing the support of the National Armed Forces to the State Border Guard and the State Police, as well as to the civil protection system.

At the request of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the National Police will be able to request information from electronic communications merchants on specific individuals who may have the status of infected or contact persons to conduct epidemiological investigations and verify the accuracy of the information provided by the person - in other words, quarantine-breakers will in theory be easier to trace.

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