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Decision-makers should see through the eyes of society, says Viņķele

If expert-suggested restrictions leave part of the population jobless, the public will comply with them to a much lesser degree, Minister for Health Ilze Vinķele wrote in her blog, LETA reported November 5.

“I will repeat again and again, no matter how unpleasant it is to hear: the COVID-19 crisis is much wider than [just] epidemiological,” said the politician.

The Minister pointed out that summer had to be spent conducting a coordinated analysis of errors in the downtime mechanisms and preparing support measures by sector.

The decision-making error, in her view, lies not in the insufficiently strict implementation of expert recommendations. It is rather the inability of decision-makers, who themselves live in sufficiently wealthy circumstances, to walk in the shoes of a person, a family, who are reasonably worried about both their health and the fact that the limitations prevent them from earning a living.

“The family where the wife works as a waitress, the husband is a creative [employee], they have children and the livelihood depends on whether they have a job, it is not an abstraction. These are people whose problems I know personally, whom I have to answer a personal question in the evening - what will happen next week? Except for new restrictions, I have nothing to answer them,” Viņķele wrote.

The politician also explained that due to the increase in the incidence of COVID-19 in Europe, including Latvia, since last week, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš has relaunched operational meetings, and some Crisis Management Council meetings have been held.

“I hope that we will have the strength to continue to base decisions the expert advice and have enough empathy to see through the eyes of people who will be affected by these decisions,” added the politician.

“We and our colleagues in the Development/For! party association have occasionally clenched our teeth to help explain, substantiate and improve the tax amendments of Kariņš – [Finance Minister Jānis] Reirs, which we believe have not always been very clear, justified and fair,” the minister said. She added that “we have listened patiently and tolerated the private and political anxieties of some members of the Coalition”.

“We are well aware that the country needs a functioning government in the crisis, so we are still prepared to work as a team,” Viņķele concluded.

As reported, Prime Minister Kariņš said in an interview  that he was not satisfied with Viņķele's pace on COVID-19.

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