When establishing restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the country, Latvia’s government has so far focused on areas that have no effect on infection rates, says Depo network of stores owner Depo DIY board chairman Andris Kozlovskis.
He said the trade industry had been under partial lockdown since November 2020. However, the data on infection rates show no evidence of this sector having a tangible effect on infection rates.
“Clearly something is wrong here. Infection rates remain high. The decline of the number of infections is very slow. This proved that when the government was coming up with restrictions, the focus was put on areas that do not contribute to infection rates. This led to the adoption of inappropriate restrictions and pointless pressure on stores selling non-food products and the economy as a whole,” said Kozlovskis.
He said there still wasn’t a comprehensive analysis of infection indexes and their changes depending of adopted restrictions.
“We are having doubts about existing trade restrictions and the necessity for them to accomplish this goal – limit the spread of Covid-19,” said Kozlovskis.
He also said the decisions made in relation to the trade industry were unbalanced, discriminatory and unjustified.
“Moreover – the imposed restrictions and their lasting effect may prove destructive. And they have not provided the government’s expected result – the major reduction of Covid-19 spread in the country,” said Kozlovskis.
According to him, the trade industry has done all it and the companies part of it can to ensure stores are epidemiologically safe.
“It’s hard to understand how the government, which is directly responsible for the country’s economic growth and public welfare, can demonstrate obvious disregard of the survival of Latvia’s biggest industry while also making life harder for people and weakening epidemiological safety at the same time. The presence of Covid-19 requires far-reaching and long-term focused action to help overcome the crisis created by the pandemic with as few losses for society as possible. People’s objective needs do not go away in times of crisis. As the crisis goes on, the new conditions should be taken into account. Society, businesses and the government have to adapt. The new conditions are not about putting people into caves, rather how well we can live with the virus about,” said Kozlovskis.
He also stressed that companies able to provide epidemiological safety had the right to work. (BNN/Business World Magazine)