Latvian government to decide about state of emergency on Friday

The Cabinet of Ministers will decide on the declaration of a possible state of emergency to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia on Friday, November 6. 

This was announced by Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš after meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers and Crisis Management Council on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister noted that the Ministry of Health and healthcare specialists had updated officials about the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia. According to the Prime Minister, the situation is "very serious" with many more people becoming infected and demand rising for hospital treatment.

"Unfortunately, we see that the number of deaths is also increasing and we understand that behind every such event is a family's personal tragedy," he said.

"In order to control the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia, it is necessary to take action, and this also means stronger measures", said Kariņš, pointing out that in contrast to some other European countries where the disease appears to be out of control, in Latvia things can still be done to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. 

Documents on the declaration of a possible emergency situation in Latvia and support measures for companies are currently being prepared. The government will decide on this on Friday, November 6.

"It is necessary to ensure that our health service can continue to provide a quality service to people, it is necessary to ensure that young people can continue their education, it is necessary that our economy continues to function. That's why we must do everything we can to restrict the illness," he said.

"The fundamental principles remain unchanged: Home, Work, Fresh Air," he said, repeating the anti-COVID mantra coined last week.

If the government decides to declare a state of emergency, as seems increasingly likely, it will take effect on Monday, November 9, Kariņš said, admitting that it is currently unknown how long it could last as the duration of the state of emergency will depend on how well the country manages the disease.

The Prime Minister said no decisions as to the measures to be taken had yet been made but that the goal would be to do everything to minimize people's opportunities to spread the disease via personal contact.

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