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2021.10.27 15:05

‘Let's not make new graves’: Lithuanian ministry urges caution to prevent Covid spike over All Souls' weekend

LRT.lt2021.10.27 15:05

Last year, the second wave of the pandemic gained momentum after the All Souls' weekend. In 2021, the Health Ministry is again urging people to observe safety recommendations and consider avoiding social contacts.

“If you feel even the tiniest symptoms of an illness, you should refrain from visiting cemeteries and relatives, you should limit your social contacts,” Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys told reporters on Wednesday.

“We are very diligent in tending to our graves, [but] we should not be making any new graves,” he added.

The Health Ministry has released a list of recommendations for people to observe over the long weekend. These include:

– People should not visit cemeteries if they feel symptoms like fever, coughing, shortness of breath.

– A distance of at least two metres should be maintained while socialising both indoors and outdoors.

– People are advised to wear facemasks at all times and change them regularly.

– If possible, it would be better to visit family graves outside the peak period on November 1 and November 2.

– If possible, people should avoid taking public transport to cemeteries. Otherwise, they must wear a facemask, wash and disinfect hand after the trip.

Many Lithuanians traditionally visit their family graves on All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Both are public holidays in the country.

Last year, infection rates went up after the holiday. The government subsequently introduced restrictions on intercity travel that were kept in place throughout the Christmas and Easter periods.

Read more: Inside intensive care unit fighting Covid-19. ‘You don’t know how to help them'

There are no plans to introduce similar measures this year, however.

Health Minister Dulkys has said that while the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients is growing, the situation is stable and there are enough intensive care beds.

“There is cooperation among different regions. The situation in ICUs is tense, but it has been stabilised,” he said.

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