2020.04.23 14:30

Lithuania leads EU in coronavirus tests per 100,000 people, official says

BNS2020.04.23 14:30

Lithuania has been leading the European Union in terms of coronavirus tests per 100,000 people, Giedrius Surplys, the head of the government's Covid-19 information group, said on Thursday.  

"In terms of the test rate per 100,000 population, Lithuania has been at number one in the EU for three days now, followed by Portugal, Estonia, Italy and other countries," he told reporters.

Read more: Coronavirus update: 28 new cases, Lithuanians among most ‘responsible’ in EU

A total of 6,798 tests were carried out in Lithuania on Wednesday, up from 6,040 on Tuesday and 4,401 on Monday. The backlog of untested samples stood at 2,255 on Wednesday.

According to Surplys, Lithuania now has enough capacity to conduct "more focused and more massive" testing to obtain a clearer picture of the incidence of Covid-19.

Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said on Wednesday that a representative sample of 7,500 Lithuanian residents would be selected and tested for Covid-19.

Despite the increase in testing, the daily number of confirmed cases in Lithuania has been below 30 in the past few days. No deaths from the virus were reported on Wednesday.

The government has allowed all retail shops to reopen starting Thursday, provided that they can ensure safety requirements. Outdoor cafes, hairdressers and some other businesses will be able to resume operations starting Monday.

Lithuania's Covid-19 count on Thursday morning stood at 1,398 confirmed cases. Thirty-eight people have died of the virus in the country so far, and 399 have been confirmed to have recovered.

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