This Week in LT – October 23


COVID-19 Update

Lithuania’s total coronavirus count is currently 7,041 cases, the Health Ministry reports, with the overall death toll of 112. The country currently has 3,862 active coronavirus cases and records 3,035 recoveries; 34,269 people are currently in isolation.

Lithuanian hospitals are treating 199 coronavirus patients, 19 of them in intensive care, according to the Health Ministry. Eighty of them are given oxygen, nine are  on lung ventilators.

Rolanda Lingienė, epidemiologist at the National Public Health Centre (NVSC), told LRT TV that the numbers are likely to increase even more. The infection is spreading in communities, facilitated by autumn weather. “We are living active social lives and have returned indoors,” Lingienė said.

Lithuania has at least a two months’ supply of reagents, a chemical compound used for coronavirus tests, according to the National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory. The volume of reagents is sufficient for around 345,000 tests, she said. The Health Ministry has recently said that another 15,000 reagents for rapid antibody tests (PCR) are on their way to Lithuania. The country is also buying another 231,000 reagents for molecular antibody testing.

A total of 925,758 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out in Lithuania so far. The number of tests surged to over 10,000 in the last 24 hours, up from last week’s daily average of 7,000 tests.Bottom of Form

Doctors Ask Lithuanians to Slow Down

Lithuanian medical associations issued a statement on October 21, asking people to slow down as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. As reports, the doctors say the situation is increasingly difficult. Healthcare workers are tired, working without days off, and worried that the health care system will soon be overwhelmed, and patients with other life-threatening diseases will be at risk. The coronavirus is spreading faster than last spring, and more than half of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are already filled. In the statement, they ask the public to give up unnecessary meetings, travel, gyms, gatherings with friends, parties and other festivities, and to pay particular attention to the safety of the elderly. The statement was signed by a dozen associations and unions, representing medical doctors, nurses, public health workers, medical institutions, and other healthcare workers.

Education Shutdown During Virus Spike

On October 21 the Lithuanian government issued an order closing schools from October 26 to November 8 for students in grades 5 to 12 and in vocational schools. They would be on holiday for the first week and have remote schooling the second week. Elementary school students will also have a week off, and then in person teaching will resume. Early education will continue in person even in municipalities designated as red zones (quaratine) unless the municipality facilitates remote learning. The government recommends remote learning for post-secondary institutions, but is allowing their boards to decide.

Only remote teaching is permitted for informal youth and adult education.

In order to protect everyone’s health, camps, day camps, excursions and other educational programs will also be unavailable unless remote access is facilitated.