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First coronavirus case confirmed in Lithuania

Date

2020 02 28

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Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania informs that the first case of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Lithuania today. Test results have confirmed infection to a female patient who returned from Verona (Italy) on 24 February 2020.    

Currently the patient is in isolation in Republic Šiauliai Hospital, which has the required infrastructure. The patient is reported to have mild symptoms; currently she has no temperature and is being treated. The woman has been monitored since her return to Lithuania just as other travellers returning from the affected areas.       

The Ministry of Health, together with experts from the National Public Health Centre and other responsible authorities, has taken all the necessary measures to prevent the spread of infection in the country. Three family members of the patient are being closely monitored in hospital and their health status is examined; so far, no symptoms of COVID-19 have been detected. In addition, people who have been in contact with the infected patient are being identified and their health is being examined; no symptoms have been reported yet.          

“Despite the efforts made and the proactive preventive measures that we took among the first, we regret to declare that Lithuania did not avoid the coronavirus. We were well aware that the threat existed, and we were actively getting ready for this scenario. In this situation, we are pleased with the homework done: all the institutions have responded to the situation and taken actions that were needed”, said Minister of Health Aurelijus Veryga.

According to Vice-Minister of Health, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre under the Ministry of Health Algirdas Šešelgis, the key objective now is to prevent the virus from spreading. 

“At present, every effort is being made to identify all those who have been in contacted with the infected person as soon as possible. This will allow for the application of the preventive measures and prevent further spread of the infection. For my part, I ask people not to panic, follow official information, and take standard measures to reduce the spread of the disease”, says Šešelgis.

The Ministry of Health informs that no tests or special measures are needed if one has not travelled to COVID-19 affected countries, if there has been no contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 and if no flu-like symptoms characteristic of the disease are felt.

Meanwhile, if symptoms occur within two weeks of traveling to the affected areas (http://sam.lrv.lt/lt/naujienos/koronavirusas) or there had been contact with people to whom COVID-19 has been confirmed, you should immediately call Emergency Help Centre line 112, report the circumstances of the illness and follow medical advice.

To prevent chances of getting infected with the coronavirus, it is recommended following standard measures to reduce the spread of the disease: frequently washing hands with warm water and soap, not touching the face and eyes, observing the coughing and sneezing etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the bent of an elbow), observing safe cooking (especially when using uncooked meat or eggs) and avoiding close contact with anyone who has symptoms of respiratory disease such as cough or sneezing.

More information and up-to-date statistics on people monitored and tests is available here: http://sam.lrv.lt/lt/naujienos/koronavirusas.