Latvia has imposed a three-month state of emergency due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, which reached a record level against one of the lowest vaccination levels in the EU, France-Presse reports, noting that only Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia are behind the Baltic country.
The number of infected in a country with a population of 1.9 million people exceeds 1,000 per day. The rate of spread is much higher than that observed earlier this year.
With the introduction of new rules, wearing masks becomes mandatory in all enclosed public places. Unvaccinated people will not be allowed, including in supermarkets. All public sector employees will have to be vaccinated by November 15. The authorities urge all Latvians to work remotely if possible.
“I ask you not to get together, not to meet and limit contacts,” Prime Minister Arturis Crisjannis Karins wrote on Twitter. Hospitals are already overwhelmed with patients with COVID-19. Doctors are being forced to give up patients whose cases are not life-threatening, said Carlis Ratzenis, a spokesman for the Young Doctors Association.
Only 48 percent of Latvians are fully vaccinated, according to AFP, noting that among the 27 EU countries, only Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia have lower vaccination rates.