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2020.06.19 10:54

Lithuanian medics depart for Armenia to fight Covid-19

Milena Andrukaitytė, Jūratė Damulytė, BNS2020.06.19 10:54

A team of 11 Lithuanian medics and experts has left for Armenia on Friday morning for a two-week mission to help the country fight the coronavirus.

Along with the experts, Lithuania also sent around 1.5 tons of medical equipment and 30,000 Covid-19 test kits to Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.

Read more: Lithuania sends medics to Armenia to help fight coronavirus

“Now, having a good situation [in Lithuania] and being able to breath a bit easier, Lithuania has built a team of medics […] who are going to Armenia today to help people who are ill there and share the experience we have gained,” Lithuanian Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said during the seeing-off ceremony at the military airbase in Zokniai, northern Lithuania.

The team includes Marius Čiurlionis, an adviser from the Lithuanian Health Ministry, who will lead the operation headquarters, as well as military officers from Lithuania‘s Emergency Operations Centre, several medics, and nurses.

The health minister thanked the medics who volunteered to go to Armenia, because “it's a risky matter […] to fly to a hotspot where the disease is still spreading”.

Armenia, a country of almost 3 million people, has more than 19,000 coronavirus cases and has reported 319 deaths. With a similar population, Lithuania has recorded 1,784 Covid-19 infections and 76 deaths.

Armenian Ambassador to Lithuania Tigran Mkrtchyan thanked for the assistance, stressing that Lithuania was the first country to respond to his country’s request for medical help, as the coronavirus situation in Armenia remained complicated.

“It’s the first humanitarian assistance project of this type in Lithuania’s history. It meets Armenia’s needs and has been implemented very swiftly,” Rasa Kairienė of Lithuania‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. “It took a bit more than two weeks from the idea to its implementation.”

According to the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius, Sweden and the European Union also contributed to the funding of the mission.