Covid-19 cases jump in Vilnius, infections linked to bars

Ninety-eight new cases of coronavirus cases were confirmed in Vilnius on Wednesday, prompting calls to introduce restrictions on bars.

The numbers will be included into Lithuania’s official coronavirus count on Thursday.

“We are suggesting to limit the activities in bars, because the spread of the coronavirus has already been detected [there],” Rolanda Lingienė from the National Public Health Centre told LRT TV on Wednesday.

According to her, six people have fallen ill after visiting two bars on Vilniaus Street on September 25–26.

“Knowing that the bars are frequented by young people, there is no doubt that there will be more infections,” she added.

Although the 14-day infection rate in Vilnius has remained stable at 64.6 cases per 100,000 people, health officials say the situation is beginning to change dramatically.  

The National Public Health Centre is suggesting to limit activities where protection measures are difficult to implement, including in group training sessions, dance and singing studios, and also to limit the working hours of bars.

Povilas Poderskis, director of Vilnius Municipality administration, said that halting economic activities was not the way to control the pandemic.

The suggestions by the National Public Health Centre are “drastic” and the municipality will not be taking “rushed decisions”, he said.

“It doesn’t mean that all nightclubs should be closed, if there are new cases in several of them,” he told LRT RADIO.

“If there are problems with one or more visitors of bars [or] their management, they need to be informed about the protective measures,” said Poderskis, adding that “sanctions” should only target those responsible for spreading the infection.

“We will have to learn how to live with the situation and manage it while the economy is open,” he added.  

LRT.LT

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