Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of beds for Covid-19 patients in Lithuania has been increased from 400 to 663, but half of them are already occupied, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said on Tuesday evening.
"Around 50 percent have already been occupied," the minister told reporters.
Over the past weekend alone, 60 new coronavirus patients were hospitalised. "It means that the number is growing fairly fast and medical establishments are facing a huge challenge of converting beds and adapting them for [coronavirus] patients," Veryga said.
The minister also called on more local hospitals to accept coronavirus patients, claiming they have been using the excuse of needing upgrades.
“Now is not the time to do repairs. This talking back [by the hospitals] is strange,” he said.
“It’s simply an attempt to avoid Covid-19 patients by trying to remain a ‘clean hospital’” by not admitting coronavirus-infected people, he added.
Some 342 people are now being treated in hospital for Covid-19, including 32 in intensive care, according to the health ministry.
Earlier on Tuesday, Santara Clinics in Vilnius said the situation at the hospital is becoming critical, as they have reached 80 percent capacity of Covid-19 patients.
The management of the hospital has called for other hospitals to take in more patients.
Read more: Vilnius hospital warns it is running out of Covid-19 beds