News

2020.03.26 14:00

After shortages, Lithuania to receive 300,000 Covid-19 testing kits

BNS, LRT.lt2020.03.26 14:00

A plane from China carrying 300,000 testing reagents for the coronavirus is due to arrive in Lithuania on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said.   

"Over 300,000. This is the quantity of test kits and reagents on the plane that has just taken off from Changsha Huanghua Airport in China and is on its way to Lithuania," Skvernelis posted on Facebook. "It is to land in Vilnius this evening."

Read more: Coronavirus: US firm to provide test kits for Lithuania

The shipment will allow regular testing of all health care staff and "other people on the frontline against the coronavirus" as well as of those who have symptoms, he said.

Lithuania encountared shortages of the chemical reagents used for Covid-19 testing. On March 22, there were only 700 reagents left in the country, and not all mobile drive-in stations could perform tests. In the same evening, Lithuanian air force's sole operating transport plane brought 5,000 testing reagents from Belgium.

Several other smaller shipments with testing supplies arrived in Lithuania from countries including the UK and South Korea throughout the week.

"Some 300,000 reagents are coming. We will be able to carry out [300,000] tests," Vytautas Zimnickas, the director of the National Public Health Surveillance Laboratory, told BNS.

Read more: As EU tender stalls, Estonia joins Lithuania in seeking own medical supplies