VILNIUS - Lithuanian Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga warned on Thursday that people's rush to hold celebrations and other gatherings has a price, adding that everybody must understand that they have to continue to practice social distancing and other safety measures.
His comment came after the Health Ministry reported in the morning that 19 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed in the country over the past 24 hours, the highest daily increase in a month.
"Everything has a price, (including) that rush to festivities and gatherings," Veryga told reporters.
"One person gets infected and we have dozens of people who had close contact with him or her. We test all of them and find a dozen infected. This is how the disease is spreading," the minister said.
"The virus is in Lithuania. The threat hasn't disappeared, and there remains a need to protect oneself," he added.
Commenting on the latest increase in COVID-19 cases, the minister said certain areas could be placed under local quarantine to stop the spread of the virus.
"Although it has been decided to lift the nationwide quarantine, I've already mentioned that there might be a need to quarantine certain places," he said. "There has been no such need so far."
Veryga called on people to avoid holding celebrations and mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.
"People are eager (to come together again). We do see and understand how difficult it is for people to cope, because there's a lot of tension and anger and it's difficult to live in such a regime," he added.
Lithuania's total COVID-19 count has risen to 1,752 confirmed cases. Some 296 people are currently ill with COVID-19, and 1,372 have recovered.
event-four people have died of COVID-19 in the country so far, and another ten coronavirus-infected patients have died of other causes.