Latvian President Egils Levits has contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, according to his chief of staff, as the Baltic country set a new daily coronavirus case record on Thursday (14 October).

KEY POINTS

  • The Latvian president developed light symptoms of COVID-19
  • Finland’s president is now observing self-quarantine
  • Latvia is currently under a three-month state of emergency

After returning from a trip to Denmark and Sweden, President Egils Levits underwent a PCR test, which resulted in a positive result.

“The symptoms are minimal and the president is feeling well, but the procedure requires the president to work remotely,” Andris Teikmanis, chief of staff at chancery of the president, said in a statement.

The president, who was among the first high-ranked Latvian officials to get immunized against COVID-19, received the first vaccine shot in mid-February and completed his vaccination course on April 29.

The news forced Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto to isolate himself as well, as the two had lunch together on Wednesday.

Latvia has a three-month state of emergency

The illness disrupts the Latvian president’s busy schedule.

Levits had planned to host Estonia’s newly elected president, Alar Karis, for his first foreign visit on Thursday. Inara Murniece, the speaker of Latvia’s parliament, will now meet with Karis instead.

The Latvian president has also been forced to cancel planned trips to Kosovo and North Macedonia, as well as a meeting with Romania’s president, for the coming week.

He will also miss the annual Riga conference on defense, foreign policy, and international relations, which begins on Friday.

On Thursday, Latvia, a country of 1.9 million people, set a new daily record of 2,408 coronavirus cases.

In response to an increase in infections, the country declared a three-month state of emergency on Monday.

48% of Latvians are fully vaccinated, ranking the country fourth in the European Union after Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia.

A government scientific advisory group has announced that it will no longer work for the government after its advice to avoid the current fourth wave of infections was ignored during the summer.

The country has now reported a total of 175,890 COVID-19 infections and 2,836 death since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.