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COVID-19 response strategy

Date

2020 05 06

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A COVID-19 response strategy has been drawn up to contain, over the short term, the risk of the spread of the coronavirus and to equip for an effective response to a potential outbreak of the virus in the future. It has been approved on Wednesday by the Cabinet of the Ministers.

The strategy aims to pool the efforts and initiatives of all the central and local authorities, medical professionals, socio-economic partners and of all the people, with a view to containing the spread of the virus and to mitigating the risk of adverse effects. As the information on the new virus is still scarce globally, the strategy in question should be regarded as an evolving document subject to regular adjustments and updates.

‘We have succeeded together to give an early effective response to the outbreak of the virus. We are typically modest as a nation. But this time I believe we should put this feature aside: we happen to be one of the few countries in the world that have succeeded to give a timely response to the outbreak. The whole country and each individual have taken the threat seriously and done everything required to prevent the potential crisis. Now it is time to learn to live with the new virus and to make ourselves ready to face it in the future’,  said Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

The implementation of the strategy will rest on the following five fundamental principles: 1) protection of vulnerable people; 2) proactive pinpointing of infection cases and immediate response; 3) prompt and objective public information; 4) evidence and facts-based decision-making; 5) international cooperation, particularly at the level of the European Union.

The strategy should be implemented over two years. There will be an action plan with priorities and practical measures, and with the achievables and responsible authorities.

The four priorities are as follows: 1) development of an effective virus response monitoring mechanism (Ministry of Health); 2) ensuring the preparedness of the health system and strengthening the physical and psychological (emotional) health of the society (Ministry of Health); 3) imposing quarantine regime in response to epidemiological situation in the country (Ministry of Health); 4) ensuring stability across social and economic sectors and their adaptation to new conditions (Ministry of Finance).

The implementation of the strategy will be coordinated by the Government, and it will be monitored by the COVID-19 Response Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister.

The designated coordinating bodies will assess the progress of the action plan for the implementation of the strategy and keep the Committee informed thereof. The progress of the strategy will be discussed on a regular basis within the Government. The Government will cooperate with the Office of the President, the Seimas, municipalities, as well as socio-economic partners and the public at large.

The action plan will fall subject to a more thorough scrutiny every 6 months to check its effectiveness and appropriateness of the measures selected. The strategy and the action plan will be reviewed fundamentally once a vaccine / antiviral medicines have been developed or if the immunity to the virus has been scientifically proven.

The draft strategy has been presented to the medical community and it has generally found its approval.

The strategy is available here.