News2020.02.24 15:23

Coronavirus: Lithuania may declare state emergency

BNS, 2020.02.24 15:23

The state Emergency Commission in Lithuania recommended to declare a state-level emergency due to the coronavirus threat. 

UPDATE: Coronavirus: Lithuania declares state emergency

"For the effective control of the situation, [the commission] has proposed to the government to declare a state-level emergency," Lithuanian Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė told reporters on Monday.

The government is yet to approve the proposal.

If declared, the government could use resources in state reserves, and could also replenish them without the need for public procurement, according to the Health Vice Minister Algirdas Šešelgis.

Lithuania to screen arrivals from northern Italy

Lithuania's authorities will ask arrivals from northern Italy to provide their contacts details, so they can be in touch after two weeks – the incubation period of the coronavirus.

Until now, only people coming from China were subjected to such measures, according to Rolanda Lingienė from the National Public Health Center.

The Health Ministry also said that all people arriving from Italy's regions of Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna will have their body temperature measured before leaving the plane.

"One of the key issues is to strengthen prevention at airports," said Deputy Health Minister Algirdas Šešelgis, adding that the country will start using thermal cameras at the airports.

The government's Emergency Commission will decide on Tuesday whether to postpone the Friday's basketball match between Žalgiris Kaunas and AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan in Kaunas, Lithuania's second city.

Read more: Coronavirus: people returning from China can claim sick leave

Lithuanian foreign ministry issues a travel warning

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry had on Monday advised citizens against travelling to 12 municipalities in northern Italy.

This applies to 10 municipalities in Lombardy – Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano – and two in Veneto – Vo’ Euganeo and Mira.

These municipalities have been put under a lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, there is currently no restriction on movement within the Schengen area, but those currently in Italy are advised to monitor the situation.

Italy reported Monday its fifth death from the new coronavirus. The country has the most confirmed cases outside Asia.

Lithuanian post halts deliveries

Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post) halted mail deliveries to the affected areas, after the Italian post service closed its branches in Casalpusterlengo, Bertonico, Castiglione D‘adda, Terranova dei Paserini, Castelgerundo, Codogno, Maleo, San Fiorano, Fombio, and Somaglia.

Flights to Italy from Lithuanian airports continue to operate according to schedule.

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