Although the recording has been restricted, the program has been allowed to listen to 11 hours of material after an official application and the involvement of four authorities.
In the first days of October, hospitals were rapidly filling with Covid-19 patients, and the healthcare industry was preparing to discontinue scheduled care. In the negotiations between the coalition parties, the prevailing opinion was that new restrictions were needed, but this time only for those who were not vaccinated.
Ministers and experts participated in the October 5 CCP meeting. The situation with Covid-19 was bad and quickly got worse. Kaspars Druvaskalns, an expert from the KVP Secretariat and the head of the Crisis Management Division of the State Fire and Rescue Service, presented a proposal for restrictions developed together with the experts, which was even stricter than the one that the ministers had planned to implement.
The Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits (JKP), listening to the presentation of Druvaskalns, said that if the plan proposed by the experts is implemented, the ministers can “go home” because they have told the residents something completely different all summer long.
Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Artūrs Toms Plesšs (AP) emphasized that the government had long told the public that the only way to a freer life was through vaccination, which meant that vaccinated people should be able to live more freely in a Covid-19 pandemic.
Both Minister of Education and Science Anita Muižniece (JKP) and Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis (NA) have pointed out that their vaccination coverage is high and strict epidemiological safety control measures are in place.
Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts (AP) has tried to convince others that the situation is worse than expected – it is inevitable that Latvia will become a leader in the European Union after infection and hospital strain, the question is only whether the crisis will be as deep as in Italy and Spain.
However, Pavluts also wanted to keep the benefits for the vaccinated. Ministers have taken turns defending a scenario called the “green arc.” It would only limit those who are not vaccinated.
Minister of Finance Jānis Reirs (JV) has compared the situation with a class of students, where those who do not pay taxes are sitting in the back, are not vaccinated and are cursing. They do not do their homework, but those who sit in front of it are punished for it, Reirs illustrated.
“What we are doing now is, in fact, we support those who have not been vaccinated with this proposal. We are saying that those who did not get vaccinated did the right thing. people who are able to think intelligently, “said Reirs.
The doctors present and a representative of the expert group reminded the ministers that it was a matter of life and not of rebuking antivirals. Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (JV) has expressed the opinion that the government should act in such a way that when the hospitals are overcrowded, it can be said that it has done everything it could.
After that, Kariņš announced a break at the CPSU meeting until October 7. When the politicians returned, it was clear that the decision could not be postponed. Meanwhile, analysts have prepared forecasts for a number of scenarios, none of which were to the liking of ministers. Doctors and experts have succeeded in persuading the prime minister to support the toughest course of action, but most government ministers have been reluctant to make concessions.
The Minister of Health has pointed out that the three hard weeks of the arc and then the transition to the “green regime” is what would allow to minimize the time and amount of congestion in the health system and reduce the number of additional deaths. “On the other hand, if I look at this issue more broadly, as a member of the government I would certainly have a number of additional questions. I would also like to reserve the right to express my final remarks as a member of the government when we have a little more information on this issue.” said Pavluts.
The head of government, Kariņš, has accused Pavļutas of an unclear position. “When these potential death figures come out here, if we have not done everything we can to prevent it, I do not know how we, as ministers, could continue our work, any of us.”
The prime minister is worried that the government will not be united and will be criticized by doctors. Minister of Welfare Gatis Eglītis (JKP) has encouraged to continue the sitting only among ministers, without experts.
The minister of education and science has expressed concern that “the public will not eat this, we will actually get vaccinated in a coalition with antivaks.” She expressed the view that non-vaccinated people could be charged for treatment with Covid-19. “A full bill must be paid for the treatment and then the state can claim it in many ways for many years. But it is a shock therapy. (..) This shock may be objectively necessary for society.”
Minister of Finance Reirs has expressed concern that there will not be enough space for all patients in hospitals, so he advocated the establishment of a field hospital and offered to place unvaccinated patients in it while vaccinated patients could be treated in hospitals. “Plus clearly the unvaccinated also pay for their treatment. A very good suggestion from Anita that we show the bill, then look, maybe we’ll release a part in some way.”
The Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Plešs has pointed out the need to obtain sociological data on public mood and resilience.
One after another, the ministers have voted that strict restrictions are not possible – they will not motivate vaccination, the situation in hospitals will still be dramatic and later the government will not be able to justify the lifting of restrictions. The prime minister has remained in the minority in his government. “Yes, but if it is strictly explained that it starts with the hard mode, but then after three weeks the green mode?” asked Kariņš.
Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (AP) has acknowledged that so far government ministers have not been at the forefront of communication. Kariņš said that the government “has only one drawback – everyone says what they want”. “We don’t need this mess that we’re all to blame for communication, I’m sorry, it’s our collective responsibility.”
The Minister of Health has emphasized that, believing in the modeling results suggested by the experts, the government really has no choice. “It is impossible to make a decision otherwise. rhetorically asked Pavluts.
“I don’t have a trivial argument about what will happen with the motivation to get vaccinated. I don’t really care if we can get off that hard scenario in three weeks. I agree with the prime minister that if we start with a softer version and its curves go up , and it looks like we have taken the softest path and we have introduced more stringent measures late, it will also be bad, “said Pavluts.
Reir recalled that public debt is approaching 53%. He feared that the locomotive would cost the state 100 million euros a day if the business stopped.
Ministers have been looking for ways to justify to experts and doctors why the government will not choose the strictest scenario so that experts do not start criticizing the decision publicly. Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (JV) has made proposals to make the “green scenario” a little stricter – to close shops on weekends, to shorten the opening hours of restaurants and bars.
The health minister then recalled that the government had gone a long way from the strict scenario required by doctors. “I have no choice but to go out now and say that, as health minister, I have agreed to a cabinet consensus that we are opting for a more death scenario.”
The Foreign Minister noted that if, after the decision of the government ministers, all the experts say together that it is “not OK”, then “the same thing we usually have will go, and what we want to avoid, because then there will be interviews as always, comments, statements with different interpretations “.
“But no one will relieve us of our responsibilities, because no one else will [Ministru] There will be no cabinet until the Saeima votes for the new one, the responsibility will also be here, “Rinkēvičs emphasized.
Transport Minister Linkaits has argued that the closure of schools should not be a key element of the “hard scenario”. “If that’s a key element, then it’s clear we can’t agree in this cabinet. Everything, point.”
Kariņš has expressed concern that if the ministers are unable to reach an agreement, “immediately the President will make us all goats”. “It seems to me that this is the harsh reality that we better acknowledge. No option will save the health care system, she will end up in a very short, long time, in very, very serious problems.”
Rinkēvičs has continued to develop the scenario called by party member Kariņš about what would happen if the actions of ministers were swallowed up by the President. “Even if the president were to call us tomorrow and pretend to be a goat, it would be even worse for the whole state because the president would hardly be able to gather. Understand what we will then show. That neither the executive nor the head of state will probably The Saeima is not able to lead. A crisis for which there are no bigger gifts, to be honest, to our friends, also beyond the borders. “
“We are trying to get together and try to discuss in some way, because unfortunately I have bad news: if we all fall down here, we will be able to work together for at least another five months, because no one wants this government at the moment,” Rinkēvičs called.
Defense Minister Pabriks emphasized that “some pretzels” should also be given to people who had been conscientious citizens and had been vaccinated against Covid-19, and that the opinion and arguments of the experts themselves were very weak in this respect. “The government is made up of us, not experts. Experts see only narrow industry interests in the end. Experts have an expert role to advise politicians, and leaders have a role to play in making decisions,” Pabriks said.
Minister of Culture Puntulis said similarly: “These are the forecasts of experts, we as a government have found a whole lot of arguments that would make the green regime just as effective, and these are our forecasts.”
Kariņš has emphasized that he must try to “remove artillery” from the ministers, as a “sniper shot” will be inevitable, but most importantly, “so that there is no heavy artillery and machine guns”.
“We will have to try to get those experts to at least listen, and we should convince them not to turn against us frontally. This will be very difficult for Daniel and I find it almost unbearable,” he said.
Experts rejoined the politicians late in the evening, but the head of government failed to convince the medics. A spokesman for the expert group warned that taking half a step threatened to hit hard later. The head of the Disaster Medicine Center has doubted that any country will want to help Latvia as long as the enjoyment of cultural life continues here. The Minister of Culture has argued that no one has proven that anyone is infected in the theater.
Roberts Fūrmanis, Vice-President of the Latvian Medical Association, has offered to blame politicians for all the blame in the eyes of the public.
Minister of Welfare Eglītis said: “I think we are moving forward, we are making a decision. Thank you to the experts, really for their work, thank you for everything. As they say, the materials have been prepared and you have been heard, but the decision is ours.”
Linkaits echoed that he sees the conversation with the experts “as a very excellent example of consultation”. According to him, the experts had been heard and the ministers had understood the views of the experts and what they had said. “We have also understood the consequences, but we are making decisions here as ministers, and I think that the fact that we are not able to make that decision for nine hours is also a testament to us.”
The next day, October 8, the government adopted a “green arcade” scenario. After a week and a half, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals was approaching 1,200. The government had to accept even stricter restrictions than initially set.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister called on doctors and experts to express all objections internally, not in public. The uncoordinated message was detrimental to both the government and the experts themselves, politicians said. At the same time, they acted contrary to the recommendations of experts, noting “Nothing personal”, noting that absolutely no doctor or expert at the hearing expressed support for the decision.
After this meeting, the head of the KVP secretariat and the only employee Druvaskalns publicly criticized the actions of the Cabinet of Ministers and was suspended from work on the Covid-19 crisis, the program reported.
Source: Diena.lv by www.diena.lv.
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