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State of emergency likely to be extended in Latvia

BC, Riga , 24.03.2020.Print version
The state of emergency that has been declared in Latvia in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, most likely will be extended, it follows from Health Minister Ilze Vinkele's comments made after the government meeting on Tuesday.

"I am looking at the calendar on the wall and it is clear that we are well past the middle of March," the minster said. She noted that the number of people currently repatriating to Latvia is significant. 

Taking all precautions, it is necessary to endure isolation and quarantine until the last group of returnees is back at home, Vinkele said.

"Taking this into consideration, it is quite probable that this will not be April 14. It will take longer," the minister said. She refused to predict how long the state of emergency might last. 

She indicated that China, whose resources and capacity are much more bigger than those of Latvia, needed more than two months to contain the coronavirus outbreak. "I doubt if we can outperform China," Vinkele said. 

Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said that the decision on extending the state of emergency will be taken based on epidemiologists' recommendations and the dynamic of the situation. 

"We need to prepare ourselves that the state of emergency might last longer. This will depend on the epidemiological situation in the country. We will follow experts' advice. Compared to many other countries, we are doing quite well, but we need to be disciplined," the prime minister said, stressing that the extension of the state of emergency will not be a political decision. 

The state of emergency has been declared until April 14. 

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