By Ron Howells •
Published: 20 Oct 2021 • 20:43
Latvia reimposes lockdown over new Covid wave. image: Twitter
Latvia is the first European country to reimpose a lockdown after a surge in Covid cases.
Latvia’s government has announced a countrywide month-long Covid-19 lockdown after registering an unprecedented surge in infections. This action makes it the first country in Europe to reimpose restrictions amid a new wave of cases that is sweeping across the continent.
The Baltic country currently has one of the highest rates of new Covid cases relative to the world population, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though it had successfully kept the virus at bay for months.
“Our health system is in danger … The only way out of this crisis is to get vaccinated,” the prime minister, Krišjānis Kariņš, said on Monday evening at an emergency government meeting. He said the country’s low vaccination rate was to blame for the surge in hospital admissions.
Karins and Health Minister Daniels Pavluts both apologised for the stringent measures to those Latvians who had already been vaccinated. “We, the government and society as a whole, haven’t succeeded in achieving a high enough vaccination coverage. So we must ask you to suspend your lives for several weeks to avoid the worst possible scenario,” Pavluts said.
Only 57% of the 1.9 million Latvians are fully vaccinated, which is well below the EU average of 74%. The government imposed a month-long night-time curfew, from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am, this week and closed schools and all non-essential shops.
“I have to apologise to the already vaccinated,” Kariņš said, adding that only essential manufacturing, construction and critical jobs would be allowed to continue in person.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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