Lockdown easing only possible if coronavirus situation improves – Lithuanian PM

  • 2021-01-05
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Easing of the existing lockdown regime will be determined not only by the number of new COVID-19 cases but also by the dynamics of the whole situation, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says.

"Dynamics is more important than the very case number," she told journalists at the parliament on Tuesday.

In her words, the Cabinet plans to get back and review the existing lockdown conditions on January 17 when ministers will have comprehensive full working week statistics on the spread of the coronavirus.

"Now, we have not had normal working weeks practically since the lockdown tightening, therefore, it's too soon to speak about any tendencies," Simonyte said. "We've had quite a number of festive days … and they mean fewer tests and fewer cases, and which as if shows natural downward dynamics."

Decisions on reviewing the lockdown conditions will be determined by a number of things, the prime minister said.

"We should probably see a number of things, that we no longer have data discrepancies and that we really have not a day or two, but we can compare periods by taking that seven-day average, and that we really see a downward tendency. We truly cannot speak about any downward tendency now," Simonyte said.

"We need two full weeks to already see the dynamics and whether we have moved past the peak. We can then consider any changes and the pace for them, as well as how much and from what moment we could expand testing, and how far we will move with vaccination," she said.

The Lithuanian prime minister says she doesn’t want the country to find itself in a place, if the lockdown was eased, when quarantine conditions would need to be tightened again.

Simonyte also said she's not considering getting vaccinated against COVID-19 until all medics are immunized. "I wouldn’t consider it until the whole medical community is vaccinated. Now, the true priority is to ensure protection of those frontline people," she said.

In her words, if the public had to be encouraged to get vaccinated, it has already been agreed with the former prime ministers that they would get involved and show an example.

Lithuania was placed under lockdown in early November and it was further tightened in the middle of December and extended until January 31.