Harmony MP: put aside political games and also communicate vaccination in Russian – Baltic News Network

The politicians [in Latvia] should put aside their “dirty games” and communicate the importance of the Russian-language Covid-19 vaccination in the interest of public health, said a member of the Saeima Praesidium, Harmony party member Andrejs Klementjevs in an interview with Radio Latvijas.

He said that the politicians of New unit and AttÄ«stÄ«bai / By! political parties understand the need to communicate these topics to Russian-speaking members of society, while members of the New Conservative Party and the National Alliance oppose it. Klementjevs’ opposition party Harmony has been talking about it for a long time. Even representatives of the Ministry of Health had already suggested doing so.

“I’ll be honest: officials from the Ministry of Health had previously offered to organize a campaign in the mother tongue of people who may not have had higher education and who may not understand certain nuances of the language. Latvian language. This is not about undermining the state language, but rather humane treatment of uninformed people, ”says Klementjevs.

He believes the language barrier is why the Covid-19 information campaign is not reaching a quarter of the population, which is part of the reason the situation is so dire. There is no reason to believe that information accompanied by an invitation to vaccinate could undermine Latvia’s sovereignty, the politician said.

When asked what Harmony plans to do in the Saeima to ensure the state communicates the importance of the Covid-19 vaccination in Russian, the politician said:

“If the drafting of such a bill is jointly developed, we will try to make it so that it acquires legislative power. I don’t think even the president would try to torpedo such an important issue. ”

As is known, to promote vaccination of Russian-speaking residents in Latvia, it was recommended to adjust the language requirements for the duration of the state of emergency. This would help reach residents with personalized notifications, as Eva Juhņēviča, head of the Latvian National Health Service’s immunization project office, suggested at a government meeting on Tuesday.

“Currently, the law does not allow us to adapt and publish information materials for residents if these materials are not in the official language. We can only produce brochures and posters for people to come and check for themselves. We cannot reach them with information written in their mother tongue, ”explains Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts.

This topic sparked wide discussions at the government meeting. Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns and Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis opposed such a proposal.

“Let’s not be naive, we can see that the percentage of vaccination in Eastern Europe is the lowest. This includes Latvia. Can we really change the behavior of this group of our society with this approach? I am skeptical, ”declared the Minister of Culture.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš believes that there would be a justified reason for this discrepancy.

“My proposal is that we should use all the tools at our disposal,” the Prime Minister said. At the same time, he criticized the Immunization Project Office for insufficient activities to promote immunization.

It must be said that the Minister’s Office had previously discussed a similar proposal to publish a Russian-language vaccination diary, but even then the government did not approve this.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb

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