Minister of Health Ilze Ņķele (AP) Saturday morning for his party “On the move Addressing the members of the party in person at the Congress in Bulduri, he did not hide his disappointment at the government ‘s decision to ban the Riga Marathon on Friday.
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Greeted with applause and publicly praised by previous delegates for their work in the Covid-19 pandemic, Vickel from the rostrum acknowledged that it was good to be among her own, especially after yesterday’s government meeting. The minister acknowledged that he had come to the party congress, which is a celebration, with a feeling of “after a severe break with the bears, when the body and mind are shaken”.
Describing what happened in the government on Friday, Vķķele said that so far Covid-19 had managed to remain free of ideology in the government, unlike benefits and tax issues. “Is a pandemic the right time to re-educate micro-enterprise taxpayers?” said Nickel about colleagues in government.
She acknowledged that, in fact, for politicians, relying on science and expert opinion on limiting Covid-19 is an “absolute insurance policy.” But yesterday, the government demonstrated the anxiety and growing anxiety that is being seen in society now that decisions in this area are being made differently from the spring, when it was done in a ‘vertical way’, meaning that the government said everything everyone should do.
However, such an approach is no longer possible, as more of the virus is known and needs to be lived with for longer, trying to keep children in school for as long as possible and to do less harm to the economy. “Yesterday, fear and insecurity prevailed,” said Nickel about the government’s mood, disregarding expert opinion.
“I assure you that with the support of Juris Pūce, I will do my best to keep this line going. Whatever it costs me, I will defend that the decisions of experts are in the first place,” said Šķele, interrupting her applause. “You give strength and support and confidence that policy can be based on evidence,” the minister told party members.
He said that “Development / For” is the only one in the government that during the crisis, when paying benefits, “the only risk is not to forgive someone and not to overpay”, thus pointing to mistakes in government decisions on downtime benefits.
The minister, whose voice was disturbing during his speech, acknowledged that the events in the government had had a great impact on him, but expressed confidence that the reliance on science would remain and “everything would be fine”.
It has already been reported that Cabinet of Ministers On Friday, an extraordinary meeting decided to cancel the “Rimi” Riga Marathon and other events where people can gather.
In order to cancel the Riga Marathon, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a clause stating that until December 31, outdoor events involving more than 300 people and in which there is active movement, running or a marathon cannot take place in Latvia.
In the last couple of weeks and especially in the last days, a rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 patients has been observed in Latvia. In the last day, 4551 Covid-19 tests were performed in Latvia, 137 new cases of the disease were registered, which is the highest indicator since the beginning of Covid-19. in the same way For the second day in a row, 10 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in Latvia, according to the National Health Service (NVD). Thus, a total of 47 patients are treated in hospitals: 42 with moderate disease and five with severe disease.
Taking into account the tendencies, the public discussion and skepticism about the usefulness of the “Rimi” Riga Marathon has increased. At the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on Friday, the hottest discussions were about the course or prohibition of the “Rimi” Riga Marathon.
Discussing the cancellation of the marathon, the director of the marathon, Aigars Nords, criticized the ministers for not understanding the marathon. “You don’t even know on which date it happens – October 10 or October 11. It happens both days, and there are nine different distances in total,” the businessman blamed. He noted that the marathon was organized legally and all epidemiological requirements are met. He also noted that the organizers have worked with the Ministry of Health (MoW) and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) during the summer to ensure that everything meets the necessary requirements.
“There will be no foreigners in the marathon, and we have official permission from the Riga City Council,” Nords said, adding that he would respect any government decision. However, he pointed out that if the government decided to cancel the marathon, then in his opinion it would be necessary to decide on granting compensation to the organizers. The businessman also blamed the interior sector, pointing to the interior minister Sandis Ģirģens (KPV LV) has complained that the police capacity would be loaded by monitoring the marathon, but the State Police (VP) has also “collected 40,000 euros” from the organizers.
Nord stressed that the abolition of children’s distance races will halve the number of participants.
Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (JV), after hearing Nord, noted: “I have not heard anyone speak so arrogantly and arrogantly for a long time.” He said the argument that the marathon would be canceled at the last minute was irrelevant because “a pandemic cannot be predicted”. He also noted that the issue of compensation can be considered on the agenda of the Cabinet of Ministers, but just as in similar cases it was decided in the spring, ie without looking at it out of turn. The Minister expressed a firm position that the marathon should be canceled.
Ģirģens also agreed with Rinkēvičs’ opinion, emphasizing that it is impossible to fully control the presence of people. It is for this reason that the Minister expressed the position that “there is no need to further complicate the work of the responsible services”. He also said that the LP can return to the organizers of the marathon 40,000 euros, which were charged for ensuring safety during its course.
The Minister of Education and Science expressed the opposite opinion Ilga Šuplinska (JKP), who emphasized that if ministers were concerned about the number of people, it would initially be necessary to restrict the operation of shops.
The member of the Ministerial Party, Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, pointed out that “it would be unacceptable to leave what is happening to itself”. He also emphasized the role of the Riga City Council in this matter, reminding that it is the Riga City Council that can decide to cancel the marathon, as it has issued a permit for the event.
The Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits (JKP) noted the need for a decision so that “nothing can be recovered from ministers”.
Initially the marathon had to take place on 16-17. in May, however, the Covid-19 pandemic due to which it was canceled at a later date. The organizers then announced that “Rimi” Riga Marathon will take place in October on the second weekend.