VILNIUS – BNS provides a review of key weekend news in Lithuania:
THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION:
* Lithuania has confirmed 2,860 new coronavirus cases and 22 deaths, including 19 unvaccinated people, from COVID-19 over the past weekend. Some 228 new coronavirus patients have been hospitalized over the two days. The total number of COVID-19 patients treated in hospitals has reached 1,072, including 122 ICU cases. The country's 14-day coronavirus infection rate has risen to 603.3 cases per 100,000 people, with the 7-day rate of positive tests standing at 6.6 percent.
THE MIGRATION CRISIS:
Around 80 irregular migrants have been turned away at the border with Belarus over the past two days and one foreign national has been allowed in on humanitarian grounds over the weekend.
A sick migrant child who lived at the Rukla-based Foreigners' Reception Center died in hospital on Sunday. Born in 2011, the child was paralyzed, suffered from epilepsy and other diseases. Severe heart and lung malfunction is the preliminary cause of death.
PARTY ELECTIONS. Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has been confirmed chairman of the ruling conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats for his last four-year term. He has led the party since 2015.
The party had initially planed to hold a direct and its first open election to pick its leader early this year but as all candidates, except for Landsbergis, withdrew, the election was canceled.
RATINGS 1. As ex-Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and other members left the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's political group in the parliament in September, the party's rating has fell to 10.4 percent, from 15.6 percent in August, pushing it down from the second to the third position in the party popularity ratings. The Social Democratic Party of Lithuania remains the most popular party in Lithuania, supported by 17.7 percent of respondents, followed by the ruling conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats with 12.9 percent, according to the latest survey by Vilmorus for the Lietuvos Rytas daily.
RATINGS 2. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda remains the most popular politicians in the country, despite his rating slowly moving down towards the 50 percent mark. 52.8 percent of respondent had a favorable opinion about the president last month, from 55.2 percent in August and 63.1 percent in June. MEP Vilija Blinkeviciute, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, comes in second with 49.2 percent, followed by Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijosaitis with 44.5 percent, according to the latest survey by Vilmorus for the Lietuvos Rytas daily.