2020.04.21 14:50

Second coronavirus wave in Lithuania ‘very likely’

Vaidotas Beniušis, BNS 2020.04.21 14:50

Lithuania's chief epidemiologist says a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is very likely, though it may be smaller than the first one.

“As long as the virus circulates among us, that second wave of the virus is very likely,” Loreta Ašoklienė told reporters on Tuesday.

“It is difficult to predict what it will be like. Given that we have a lot of control measures in place at this stage and have learnt something about the virus, [the second wave] is very likely to be milder, but forecasts are cautious because there's much we [don't] know,” she added.

Lithuania has been reporting between 20 and 40 new daily cases over the last week, except for a spike last Saturday when 90 new infections were reported. Around two-thirds of them came from Nemenčinė, a town placed under lockdown last Thursday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Read more: Around quarter of residents tested in Lithuania’s coronavirus hotspot

On Tuesday, Lithuania has confirmed 1,350 Covid-19 infections and 37 deaths from the virus.

Ašoklienė underlined that the quarantine restrictions would be eased in stages, closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation.

A nationwide quarantine was imposed in Lithuania on March 16. The government relaxed the restrictions for the first time last week, allowing some non-food retailers and service providers to reopen after a month-long shutdown.

The Cabinet is expected to decide on Wednesday whether to allow outdoor cafes and hairdressers to resume their activities.

Read more: Lithuania plans further easing of restrictions while extending quarantine