The Covid-19 pandemic and how countries should fight with it is one of the topics that have been discussed for a long time. Looking at the world in general, it will be seen that some countries have been successful in this fight. On the other hand, it can be said that some countries failed in the struggle. The struggle methods implemented by Latvia, which is among the successful countries, are appreciated by experts.
How did Latvia fight with the pandemic and protect the economy at the same time? What methods did it use? All the details are in our article.
Covid-19 first appeared in China around the period between November-December 2019. 30-40 days after the first case was detected, it spread into many countries. It quickly proved that it is a highly contagious virus. Many countries waited for the pandemic to come and spread into their countries to fight Covid-19. Yes, as unreasonable as this may seem, many countries have been late in the fight. However, some countries started their struggle much earlier. Latvia is one of these countries. 
The pandemic reached to Europe between January and February, and the number of cases reached millions within a month. There was a serious increase, especially in March and April. Many countries started their fight in April. Latvia, on the other hand, started to fight on March 13, when the Covid-19 outbreak hadn’t affected the EU countries. On this date, a kind of state of emergency was declared and some strict measures were introduced. While these measures were set, extra care was taken not to adversely affect the economy. The early start of the struggle is one of the main reasons for Latvia’s success.
The first death from Covid-19 in Latvia occurred on April 3. In other words, the measures had been taken about 3 weeks before the first death. The first death from Covid-19 in the UK occurred on January 31. Measures were taken as of late March and early April. Moreover, many festivals and events had been held in the country until the measures were taken. This comparison can be used to understand how Latvia has been successful in this context.
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Scientists Led the Struggle
Although it is a country with a small surface area, there is a lot to know about Latvia. It can be said that the struggle against the pandemic in many countries has been conducted by politicians. However, in Latvia scientists lead the struggle. The recommendations given by the scientists have been applied directly by the government organs. Latvia started fighting with the pandemic on March 13. Apart from China, which was the center of the pandemic at that time, Latvia was one of the first countries to start fighting the pandemic worldwide. The reason behind this is the full implementation of the scientists’ advice.
A recommendation was given by scientists that collective activities should be restricted. Following this recommendation, all public events in the country were banned. The social distance rule has begun to be strictly enforced.
At the beginning of the process, scientists realized the need for protective equipment. On the advice given, the Latvian government made a stockpile of protective equipment (masks, disinfectants, etc.). Thus, it did not experience the trouble many countries have experienced. As is known, in many countries, including the EU and the USA, there was a shortage of protective equipment at the beginning of the process. Even healthcare personnel could not access these equipment and many healthcare professionals became infected. There was no such problem in Latvia.
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The basis of Latvia’s fight against the pandemic is the principle of test, diagnose, and isolate. Latvia which has been doing as many tests as possible quickly isolates the positive cases. Likewise, those who have been in contact with positive cases are also isolated. One of the best examples of this is that Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš  was taken into isolation after one of the MPs in the parliament was found to be positive.
This principle, which was considered by Latvia just in March, is now being followed by all countries. Even this clearly shows how the right steps Latvia has taken. One of the facts about Latvia is that its economy was not affected much despite the measures during the pandemic period.
COVID-19 Struggle and Protecting the Economy
Many countries have been late to fight with Covid-19. With the desperation of this delay, measures such as quarantine and lockdown have been taken. Many businesses were closed. All this seriously damaged the economy. The suffering of the economy while fighting with the pandemic had extremely negative effects on the countries. Many countries could not endure these economic problems any longer and had to loosen the measures.
Latvia, on the other hand, took great care to protect the economy from the very beginning of the process. It was decided to close the cinemas and theaters, where people used to come together in closed areas. However, no other business has been shut down. Economic life continues without much being affected. As a result of these positive effects, the interest of foreign investors in Latvia continued during the pandemic period.
Although the measures taken by Latvia aimed at protecting the economy, it can be said that the economy suffered a little. However, this damage is extremely small compared to other countries. Therefore, it should be underlined that Latvia has been quite successful in the issue.
Igors Krumins continues his activities as a commercial and international lawyer within the body of “Jurmala Invest”. He has more than 10 years of experience, especially in the investment sector, and has provided consultancy services to numerous companies with his legal expertise. He successfully completed his undergraduate studies at Baltic International Academy and graduate studies at Latvijas Universitate. Apart from his native Latvian language, he can also speak Russian and English fluently.