2020.12.16 17:00

Lithuania's health system faces crash within weeks – minister

BNS2020.12.16 17:00

Lithuania's health system may collapse within several weeks under the strain of the coronavirus, unless people follow lockdown rules, Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys has warned.

“I want to say very honestly: unless all of us follow the rules and don't look for loopholes, the system may break down in about two weeks,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Read more: Lithuania imposes nationwide lockdown

The health system still has some reserve capacity that can be reallocated among hospitals, but new coronavirus cases and hospitalisations will continue to grow “by inertia” for at least several weeks and the situation is unlikely to turn around before the New Year, he said.

There are currently 2,307 Covid-19 patients in Lithuanian hospitals, including 184 in intensive care units.

A total of 99,869 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Lithuania so far. The country currently has 55,143 active cases and 43,379 recoveries.

As part of tightened lockdown measures in place since Wednesday, non-essential retail and services have been ordered to close and non-essential travel within the country has been banned.

Read more: Travelling to or from Lithuania: what you need to know

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