BNN summary of the week: patient admission in a garage. Ušakovs’ MEP immunity. Inaction in Lithuania

This week Latvia reached an anti-record with its number of newly-uncovered Covid-19 infections and deaths. Vaccination efforts, meanwhile, continue. Those who do not manage, however, are usually hospitalized. Riga Eastern Clinical Hospital is even forced to organize patient admission in its garage because the hospital is overloaded.
Another anti-record is that Latvia remains ahead of all other EU member states when it comes to Covid-19 infection rates.
According to doctors, there is a very large number of Russian-speaking pensioners who end up hospitalized with Covid-19. Some suggest these people live in Russian information space, where many believe there is a large volume of disinformation about vaccines. The Saeima, meanwhile, thinks if it is a good idea to deviate from the State Language Law and start sending Russian-speaking pensioners information about vaccines and vaccination in Russian language. Representatives of Russian-speaking residents on a national level – Harmony political party – are not in a hurry to promote vaccination and motivate residents to do the right thing.
This week European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee suggested stripping Latvian MEP and ex-mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs of his immunity so that authorities are able to investigate him.
Estonia, meanwhile, has decided to tighten epidemiological restrictions.
BNN gives you a summery of the most relevant events of the past week in the following topics: Overload; Ušakovs; Economic growth; Employment in Lithuania; Restrictions in Estonia; Penalty for Poland and Winter Olympic Games.
Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital organizes patient admission in a garage and; mobile morgue solution employed as well
Photo: Zane Bitere/LETA
Due to to influx of Covid-19 patients Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital has been forced to organize patient admission in its garage, which was previously used by the Emergency Medical Service to bring patients, as reported by LTV.
21 beds for Covid-19 patients have been set up in the garage.
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EP Legal Affairs Committee suggests annulling Latvian MEP’s parliamentary immunity
Latvian MEP Nils Ušakovs. Photo: Zane Bitere/LETA
European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has presented a proposal to annul the parliamentary immunity of Latvian MEP and ex-mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs, as confirmed by the parliament.
The final decision will be made by EP, which plans to discuss this topic in November.
Ušakovs said he is grateful to all members of the Legal Affairs Committee and rapporteurs for their highly professional approach, adding that he expects the same professionalism from the Office of the Prosecutor General.
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Latvia’s GDP up 4.8% in third quarter of 2021
Photo: Simona Dilāne
In Q3 2021, compared to Q3 2020, gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 4.8 %, according to seasonally and calendar non-adjusted data.
According to provisional estimations, the GDP was affected by a rise of 1.3 % in producing sectors and of 6.1 % in services sectors, according to the flash estimate of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB).
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BNN ANALYSES | Workforce depletion grips Lithuania, while job available to every second jobseeker
Illustrative image. Photo: Pixabay
Hiring has perhaps never been harder for Lithuanian employers as it is now. Raising wages isn’t enough to win the war for talent and, frankly, even hire a sweeper.
«It is definitely one of the biggest – if not the biggest – headache I have now,» Juozas Motiejauskas, a successful entrepreneur in the Kretinga district, told BNN.
Echoing, a restaurateur in the Lithuanian gem resort of Palanga, admitted he struggled «horribly» with assembling a team for past summer season.
«The pandemic has dramatically changed everything. Aware of possible new lockdown restrictions, many bar people and servers just left the sector and do not even look back at it. To patch up the gap in workforce, I had to rely on help of my own family members and myself. Frankly, I could not even find a dishwasher, although I was offering 60 euros per day,» the businessman told BNN, asking not to mention his name.
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Photo: Pixabay
In the week, when Estonia introduced a set of epidemiological restrictions, the Covid-19 situation in the country’s hospitals continues to be very difficult, therefore the government has agreed on new rules to contain the spread of Covid-19 from next week, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.
From Monday, October 25, entry in public events, restaurants and entertainment venues has been limited to people with the EU Covid-19 certificate proving full vaccination or recovery from the virus disease. The restrictions are set to remain until January 10.
On Thursday, October 28, the Estonian government announced more restrictions. According to them schoolchildren over the age of 12 will have to present coronavirus certification to attend public events, while mask-wearing is being made mandatory at events which conduct coronavirus certification checks, even for individuals who have been vaccinated.
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EU’s top court fines Poland one million euros per day in rule of law dispute
October 10, 2021, Krakow, Poland: Protesters are seen gathering as they take part during a rally. Photo:
The European Court of Justice has punished Poland with a fine of a million euros per day over the EU member’s failure to correct the justice problems the court pointed to this summer, Belgian news portal EurActiv reports.
In July, 2021, the Luxembourg-based court ruled that Poland has to suspend certain powers of the country’s disciplinary chamber for judges. Among others, they were the power to sanction judges, who apply EU law on judicial independence, its power to lift judicial immunity and to retroactively lift all decisions already made.
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Beijing Olympics organisers: Coronavirus virus will be key challenge
A man takes selfies in front of a countdown clock showing 100 days until the opening of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Games, at a shopping mall complex in Beijing on October 27, 2021. Photo: AFP/SCANPIX
With 100 days remaining until the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the organisers have said that keeping the pandemic away from the games will be the key challenge. The sporting event will take place in the Asian country, where Covid-19 first appeared, French news agency AFP reports.
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 4 to 20 in the year 2022. As 100 days are left until the opening ceremony, China is battling a virus outbreak that has seen millions of people told to stay at home, mass testing across at least 11 provinces and brought many flights and trains to a standstill.
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