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2020.09.24 10:26

Coronavirus: Lithuania reports highest-ever daily increase with 138 new cases

LRT.lt2020.09.24 10:26

Lithuania confirmed 138 new coronavirus cases over Wednesday, the biggest daily increase so far.

The previous high-point was reached last Saturday when 99 new infections were diagnosed over the previous day.

Twenty-two people diagnosed with the coronavirus on Wednesday are patients at Radviliškis Hospital in northern Lithuania, currently the biggest hotspot in the country. Four employees of the hospital are also among the new cases and two secondary contacts. In all, 102 cases confirmed so far are linked to the cluster.

One patient with Covid-19 in Radviliškis Hospital passed away on Wednesday, but the infection is not the direct cause of death, according to the National Public Health Centre (NVSC).

Five new cases are employees at another hospital in Šiauliai, also northern Lithuania. The Šiauliai Hospital currently accounts for 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19, seven patients and 12 employees.

Nine more infections were diagnosed in Šiauliai, including two employees of the local medical emergency service and two people linked to a local kindergarten.

A sharp rise in infections has also been reported in Raseiniai, a town in Kaunas County. Fourteen new cases were reported in the town, including three at a local hospital, four among workers of the municipal administration, and two in a kindergarten.

Eight new cases in Vilnius have been traced to the dance studio City Dance. This cluster accounts for 25 confirmed cases. Two more cases have been linked to a local gym (Gym Plius), which is now a cluster of 20 infections.

Twenty-four new infections have not been traced to any known sources, the NVSC said.

One infection is believed to have been contracted abroad, in Austria.

Lithuania's total infection count stands at 4,070. Of them, 1,709 are active cases, while 2,253 people have already recovered.

Eighty-nine people have died of Covid-19 in the country so far.

At the moment, 17,839 people are in isolation, including active cases, their close contacts and travellers subject to 14-day self-quarantine.

No nation-wide restrictions considered

Commenting on the spike of new infections, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said that tighter restrictions were introduced in individual municipalities – namely, Raseiniai, Radviliškis and Šiauliai – but the government was not planning to impose nation-wide measures.

“These towns already have restrictions: they banned events, switched to remote teaching in schools where the infection is spreading intensely, allowing workers to work from home,” Veryga told reporters on Thursday morning.

He said that the infection was spreading for “objective” reasons: “[People] move, interact, return to jobs after holidays, go to school. [...] We're not gonna find any more specific explanation than that.”