New plan in the making for combating Covid in autumn

Take note – story published 1 year ago

The Health Ministry has prepared a plan to fight the spread of Covid-19 in the autumn, which has yet to be agreed with the Finance Ministry but would require at least €20 million, Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts told Latvian Radio on July 4. 

The minister said Covid-19 was at the lowest point in Latvia at the beginning of June, and a slight increase in the spread has now resumed. Compared to the situation elsewhere in Europe, the incidence rate is moderate. As reported earlier, the increase is mainly attributable to the behavior of people, and the symptoms of illness are usually mild. 

“We're not raising alarm right now. We recall that these recommendations [..] are still in force: ventilating spaces regularly, avoiding large gatherings if possible, wearing masks, for example, in public transport,” said Pavļuts.

For autumn, possible scenarios have been debated and appropriate plans have been drawn up. “In the lightest scenario, nothing special has to be done. There is a [low] probability that there could be a large new wave of the pandemic with a new type of virus that is not known to us and would cause a severe new outbreak. No one knows exactly what will come true, but we think there will be a significant increase in morbidity in the autumn,” said Pavļuts.

The plan to deal with Covid-19 in the autumn requires at least €20 million. The money is needed to prepare for autumn and develop a registry of risk groups, support family doctors and continue testing.

Since the beginning of June, the plan has been in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, with which the necessary funding has been reduced from €30 to €20 million. However, the agreement has still failed.

“It feels like there is no political mandate given to the Ministry of Finance to agree to the spending in the autumn. Obviously we will have to talk to Mr. Kariņš and the Coalition about it again politically,” Pavļuts said.

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