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Latvia should look for a 'new approach' to tackle Covid-19, says Pavļuts

The government will have to look for ways to reconcile public fatigue and the goal of reducing infection rates, Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts told Latvian Radio February 24.

Pavļuts said that in general the government's decisions are “more or less in the right direction”, but that he understood the despair and anger of many sectors. He said that the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economy “should find opportunities for industries that cannot work to receive money, but without improving the situation, the restrictions cannot be relaxed”.

He said that several industries were comparing Latvia to Estonia, where “everything is open, everything works and infection is lower”.

“Where's Estonia now? It is now in the second place in Europe with high infection,” Pavļuts said.

The Latvian government has to consider that if there is a rapid increase in coronavirus spread, new safety measures will have to be implemented, “with a similar approach as in Lithuania”, where there have been municipal movement restrictions, the minister said.

If existing measures do not reduce the incidence, this means that they do not work sufficiently. And their effectiveness is essential for both control and public behavior, the minister said. Mobility data shows that activity has increased in January, people are moving and contacting more.

“If we can't fix it, the government needs to look for other ways. […] If these requirements cannot be met, the requirements need to be changed,” the minister said.

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