Sixteen new coronavirus case have been diagnosed in Lithuania over the past 24 hours, Rolanda Lingienė of the National Public Health Centre (NVSC) said on Wednesday morning. In some cases the source of infection could not be traced.
“There are 16 new cases and, based on initial information, two are imported from abroad. The majority of them are in Vilnius County, there are also cases in Panevėžys and Kaunas Counties,” she told BNS.
The Lithuanian government is to decide on Wednesday whether to bring back the requirement to wear facemasks in shops and public transport in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Lithuania's chief epidemiologist Loreta Ašoklienė told LRT RADIO earlier on Wednesday that, in a growing number of cases, public health officials could not determine how the person got infected with Covid-19.
“The biggest worry is that there are cases when we cannot explain the circumstances of the infection,” she said, adding that the mandatory wearing of facemasks would help prevent the spread of the virus within the population.
The coronavirus infection rate in Lithuania – measured as the number of new cases per population of 100,000 over the last two weeks – has increased “dramatically”, Liengienė told Elta news agency.
“The situation has changed dramatically. Last Friday, it [infection rate] was 3.7, while yesterday afternoon it got to 5.2,” she said.
The increase is partly due to people traveling abroad, she added.
“Over the entire period [of the pandemic], imported cases make up about 20 percent. In July, there were more of them. These are big number,” she told Elta. “Naturally, countries around Lithuania have problems [containing the virus], even more than we do. On the other hand, the public has relaxed.”
In all, Lithuania has confirmed 2,043 Covid-19 cases. So far, 1,643 people have recovered and 316 are active cases.
Eighty people have died from the coronavirus in Lithuania, 13 more who were diagnosed with Covid-19 died of other causes.