News

2020.11.20 09:31

Lithuanian minister infects Pentagon official, Seimas speaker tests positive for Covid-19

BNS, LRT.lt2020.11.20 09:31

Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Lithuania's parliamentary speaker, and Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and both have been quarantined at home with no symptoms.

“My colleagues from the [Liberal Movement's] group have received negative test results, but I am joining the ranks of the infected,” Čmilytė-Nielsen wrote on Facebook, adding that she had developed no symptoms of Covid-19.

The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, carried on with plenary meetings this week despite several MPs having tested positive for the virus.

The speaker insists that she followed safety precautions and recommendations.

“I followed the recommendations of the Seimas Chancellery, I wore a mask in all my meetings, kept distance, avoided shaking hands,” she wrote on Facebook.

On Tuesday, Čmilytė-Nielsen had a meeting with visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda and on Thursday she met with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda.

The Lithuanian president's office has said that the meeting was “low-risk” and Nausėda will not self-isolate.

Karoblis went into self-isolation after his test result came back positive, the Defence Ministry confirmed.

“The minister is well, with no coronavirus symptoms,” Vita Ramanauskaitė, his spokeswoman, told BNS.

A top Pentagon official, Anthony Tata, has tested positive for Covid-19 after meeting with the Lithuanian minister of defence, the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

Tata met with Karoblis last Friday. “Mr. Tata was tested today and has tested positive for Covid-19 on two successive tests. He will isolate at home for the next 14 days in accordance with Center for Disease Control protocols,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.