LATVIA – The Latvian Government has announced that it will seek assistance from the European Union (EU) and other international organizations for the provision of equipment and devices, including 120 lung ventilators, to deal with the healthcare crisis in pandemic conditions.
The needed equipment also includes 14 portable x-rays, 363 vital sign monitors, 32 vital sign monitoring stations, 22 mobile ultrasound devices, 194 flowmeters, and other devices.
The draft orders provide that the Ministry of Health would be responsible for coordination.
According to the draft order annotation prepared by the Ministry of Health, countries can use the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) to ensure the involvement of civil protection resources from other EU Member States to mitigate the consequences of serious crises.
A similar assistance mechanism would supplement the crisis-hit country’s response capacity. UCPM enables national civil protection services to collaborate more quickly and efficiently.
Given that Latvia is also experiencing a human resources crisis during the crisis, it is planned to seek EU assistance in providing additional doctors and medical personnel teams in order to increase the capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.
The amount of money spent may vary depending on the outcome of public procurement. However, Health Minister Daniels Palvuts stated that if a country decides to provide free assistance to Latvia, no funds will be requested.
Pavluts stated at a press conference following the government meeting that three countries had informally confirmed their willingness to help and engage, but he did not specify which countries they were, indicating that it would be revealed after an official request for assistance and obtaining an attestation.
The call for international aid comes a week after COVID-19 cases spiked in the nation, forcing the government to impose nationwide curfew to curb the rising infection cases. The night tine curfew will be in effect until 15 November.
Alongside the national curfew, the Latvian government also closed schools and hospitality venues to contain the rising infection rate.
“Latvia ranks first in the world in terms of infection rate,” health minister Daniels Pavluts told reporters said following a government emergency meeting.
He went on to say that the lockdown would only be lifted for those who had been vaccinated. At the same time, Krisjanis Karins, the Prime Minister, blamed low vaccination rates.
According to the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the country currently has the highest rate of new Covid cases in the world.
The country’s healthcare system stares at an impending burden on its services as hospital admissions rise rapidly.
Hospital admissions increased by 56%, while the number of severe Covid-19 cases increased by 62.8%. Approximately 79% of new cases are in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people