QUARANTINE IN LITHUANIA: CLOSING BORDERS FOR FOREIGNERS
Just a few weeks ago a significant percentage of Lithuanians felt a bit skeptical about the danger of the so-called coronavirus. The situation has been changing quickly as from time to time new coronavirus infection cases in Lithuania were identified. The situation here is way better than in other countries surrounding us like Latvia, Poland, etc. However, on the 14th of March, the government announced the coronavirus-related quarantine.
So far we have 9 official cases of coronavirus infections, but there might be way more unidentified ones. As far as I know, all infected people came back from Italy and other countries in Southern Europe. At least one case has been identified in Klaipeda, which is a city I currently live in with my wife and daughter. According to some sources, grocery stores are counting ten times more sales than usual.
Grocery stores and pharmacies are the only institutions that will be allowed to function normally. According to Lrt.lt, catering establishments will be banned, excluding the possibility to provide takeaway food services. Are there any other official restrictions? Well, yes. I will share some of them and I am almost sure that Travelers who were preparing for their trip to Lithuania will understand why this kind of plan should be postponed.
CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 STATISTICS IN LITHUANIA
One of the best sources of information about the latest coronavirus situation in Lithuania is http://sam.lrv.lt. Long story short, it's the official website of the Ministry of Health of The Republic of Lithuania. Unluckily, only fragments of info are translated into English. Foreigners might need to use "google translate" to read it. I will share today's report (2020.03.15) posted at 9:00 in the morning Vilnius time.
- Confirmed coronavirus cases in Lithuania: 9;
- Number of people that were tested for coronavirus yesterday (2020.03.14): 78;
- Total number of people tested for coronavirus: 520;
- Observed individuals that have recently returned from abroad and relatives of those who were officially confirmed infected with coronavirus: 9176
Attention: added on 15/03/2020 3:20 pm while preparing this post:
- The Ministry of Health (SAM) reports that 3 new cases of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Lithuania today, March 15;
- All three of them have recently returned from abroad;
- One of them is being treated in Klaipeda (where I live); Two others - in Vilnius (capital of Lithuania).
CORONAVIRUS SITUATION IN LITHUANIA FROM MY POINT OF VIEW
As I already mentioned, Lithuania has been pretty lucky so far. It has way fewer people infected with the covid-19 coronavirus than our closest neighbor Latvia. In all cases, infected ones came back from Italy, Spain, etc. As you may already know, this virus is way more dangerous for elders, people with secondary illnesses and weakened immune systems.
You can't prevent yourself from aging, but our weak immune systems are completely our fault. What is more, nature always has its ways of purging itself. Who knows, maybe this coronavirus is one of them. Probably there will be even more casualties in the near future but the question is are we gonna learn from it and take responsibility for ourselves or are we going to look for someone to blame: doctors, government, etc.
In my humble opinion, one of the key points of coronavirus prevention is common sense. Yesterday I went to the nearest grocery store to buy some products. At the entrance, there was this pack of disposable gloves and antibacterial fluid and I think it is great. However, I saw some people there who looked like "walking bags of illnesses". They were coughing without covering their mouths, they did not keep a safe distance between each other. Without common sense, plastic gloves won't help.
One of the best things we could do is to think of ways to restore our immune systems as much as possible as it is the only true defense line between us and infectious diseases. Some of us will experience what "catching" the coronavirus really means and the stronger ones will heal faster. As you already understood, if you have planned a trip to Lithuania it will have to wait. The good news is that the lady who was diagnosed with coronavirus in Lithuania first has already healed from it and feels strong and healthy!