News2020.03.13 10:33

Coronavirus: No new cases in Lithuania as country shuts down schools

BNS 2020.03.13 10:33

Forty-five blood samples were tested for the coronavirus in Lithuania on Thursday, all came back negative, the country's Health Ministry said. Far-reaching measures to contain the epidemic came into effect on Friday.

In all, 366 Covid-19 tests have been performed in the country to date, according to the ministry.

Lithuania has so far three confirmed cases of the coronavirus. A woman in Šiauliai was diagnosed with Covid-19 on February 28 and a couple from Kaunas tested positive on March 10. All three had visited northern Italy and now being treated in hospital.

A state of emergency has been declared in Lithuania over the coronavirus threat. On Thursday, the government announced a set of measures that include closing down all education institutions for at least two weeks and banning some public events.

Above and beyond

Lithuania's main cities have introduced tougher measures than those announced by the central government.

On Friday, schools are closed in Lithuania's three biggest cities – Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda – even though the government has ordered to do so from Monday.

Vilnius authorities say kindergartens, schools and universities will close and all non-formal activities will be suspended on March 13 for five weeks until April 17.

Meanwhile, the government's told do to so until March 27.

In Kaunas, Lithuania's second-biggest city, schools are closed on Friday, while nurseries and kindergartens will follow suit on Monday, according to Tomas Jarusevičius, an adviser to the mayor.

Arvydas Cesiulis, a vice mayor in Klaipėda, told BNS that the local authorities had also decided to close schools on Friday and nurseries and kindergartens on Monday.

Education Minister Algirdas Monkevičius says schools should use the two-week break ordered by the government to prepare for teaching remotely, in case the lockdown continues beyond March.

All indoor events and outdoor events of over 100 people have been banned as of Friday. Museums, cinemas, gyms, bars and other types of public establishments have been ordered to close.

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