Latvia is to go into a nationwide lockdown, including a nightly curfew, for nearly a month in an attempt to slow Covid infections, APA reports citing The Guardian.
From Thursday, a curfew will be imposed between 8 pm and 5 am, most shops will be shut, indoor and outdoor gatherings banned.
Following an emergency meeting late on Monday, prime minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš said the lockdown, which will last until 15 November, said the dramatic measures are needed as the virus continues to quickly spread and hospital wards fill up, reports the Associated Press.
With just over half of the population vaccinated, Latvia has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the European Union.
Karins conceded that the government had failed to encourage enough people to get vaccinated. “There are many people, too many people, who are not vaccinated,” Kariņš reportedly said, according to the Latvian public broadcaster LSM.
To date, Latvia, which has a population of 1.9 million, has recorded 190,000 cases and nearly 2,900 deaths. The country’s incidence rate per 100,000 is 864, one of the highest in the world.
Health minister Daniels Pavļuts said:
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.