Lithuania extends nationwide coronavirus quarantine until April 13

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-26 01:41:22|Editor: yan
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VILNIUS, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's government on Wednesday extended the nationwide quarantine until April 13, citing the rapid spread of coronavirus in the Baltic country.

"This is a minimum term, another two weeks. It will depend on all of us if it will be prolonged later," Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis was quoted as saying by local media.

"If some part of the society will behave as it did during the previous two weeks by ignoring the self-isolation rules, lying, visiting public places and spreading the virus within our country, then it will be natural that the quarantine will be prolonged for an uncertain period of time."

The Lithuanian government had previously introduced a nationwide quarantine for the period between March 16 and March 30.

The quarantine measures include a prohibition for Lithuanians from leaving the country, and shops are closed with the exception of food stores, pharmacies and online stores delivering items to parcel terminals or via couriers.

Cafes and restaurants are closed unless they offer takeaway or delivery services. Mass gatherings are prohibited, education establishments are closed, and people are advised to work from home if possible. If people must leave home, they are advised to wear masks or otherwise cover their noses and mouths.

Skvernelis will lead a newly established crisis coordination committee, local news agency Elta reported.

"The crisis management system has been updated -- the special committee of the Lithuanian government will operate with the participation of all main ministers. It will coordinate the situation related to managing the coronavirus outbreak," said Skvernelis.

Until now, the State Emergency Operations Center chaired by Minister of Health Aurelijus Veryga has been the main authority charged with managing the crisis.

As of March 25, four coronavirus patients had died in Lithuania. According to the Ministry of Health, 3,471 samples have been tested, of which 255 came back positive.