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Health Minister: Latvian society must cooperate to keep schools open

All members of society must be careful and comply with safety measures to limit COVID-19 in order to keep schools open for as long as possible, Health Minister Ilze Viņķele said in an interview on Latvian Radio October 1.

The Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) has indicated that, despite the record number of cases confirmed on Wednesday, the situation is under control and outbreaks are localized. Due to this, additional restrictions have been imposed in Kuldīga and Daugavpils.

Health Minister Viņķele pointed out that the record number of infections recorded on Wednesday is the basis for careful action and the signal that COVID-19 is real and highly contagious, and we can only limit it by cooperating.

We cannot spend our lives on emergency conditions until the COVID-19 vaccine is developed, and so compliance with precautions is the only way of ensuring restrictions do not become ever-tighter, she suggested.

Currently, there are also more COVID-19 patients in hospitals than they were in the summer, which means there are groups of people who are more severely affected by the disease, and it is a signal to the young and active population that protecting our seniors is just as important as it was in the spring.

Viņķele also said that everyone together should be careful to keep schools open for as long as possible.

Remote learning is not only less effective than face-to-face teaching but can often deliver a blow to families economically, because parents have to stay at home. It is stressful and also contributes to the risks of inequality in pupils, she said.

The Minister said that remote learning is “absolutely the last step that needs to be pushed back as much as possible”.

Vinkele also called on people to continue to use the “Stop Covid” app, which helps to identify contacts when needed.

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