RIGA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Latvian ministers on Tuesday approved a strategy proposed by the Health Ministry to better curb the spread of COVID-19 and prevent an overload of the national health system.
The strategy defines four COVID-19 risk levels, of which the first is the lowest risk level and the fourth the highest risk level.
Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins explained after the extraordinary cabinet meeting that Latvia has currently reached the third, or high risk level.
The COVID-19 strategy provides for a step-by-step approach to introducing specific epidemiological measures based on COVID-19 incidence, hospitalizations and mortality rate.
If the number of hospitalized patients reaches 80 percent of the hospitals' total capacity, Latvia will enter the fourth or very high risk level, beyond which the government will have to consider declaring a national emergency.
The fourth risk level will also be triggered if Latvia's COVID-19 incidence per 100,000 population surpasses the European Union's (EU) average rate by 50 percent. And a mortality rate above the EU average will also force the country into a very high risk level.
For each of the four risk levels, the strategy details specific restrictions on gatherings and other epidemiological safety measures applicable to public and private events, education institutions, workplaces, public and cultural institutions with the aim to break the chain of virus transmissions in Latvia's society.
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