Lithuania readies tough restrictions, should patients in ICUs increase

Lithuania, which has avoided nationwide quarantine restrictions this autumn despite world-leading increase of Covid-19 cases, has drafted a plan of epidemiological restrictions for the scenario of the number of patients in the intensive care units, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports.
According to the Lithuanian Health Ministry’s plan, new restrictions would be applied when the number of Covid-19 patients in ICUs reached 240. Currently, there are 144 such patients in Lithuania. Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys said earlier this week the number had been stable over the last three weeks.
Planned restrictions for 240 ICU patients:
– A ban all public events, allowing only professional sports competitions to take place without spectators.
– Closing all nightclubs, public catering places, and shops selling unessential goods, as well as leisure and entertainment services (or restricting their opening hours).
– Restricting floor space to 50 square meters per customer in all shops that would remain open.
The plan also proposes compulsory work from home, distance learning, limited non-formal education, and restrictions on people’s gatherings.
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Planned restrictions for 215 ICU patients
Some restrictions could already come into force when the number of occupied ICU beds reached 215, said Deputy Health Minister Aušra Bilotienė-Motiejūnienė.
These would include restrictions on events and changes to space limitations in shops and places providing other services.
Distances between customers in cafes, bars, and restaurants would have to be maintained and opening hours could be limited.
Additionally, work from home would become compulsory, where possible, while informal education would be suspended. People could also only travel on public transport seated.
Lithuanian Economy Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė commented: «I believe that it is possible to avoid the [closure] scenario and that we will avoid it».
The article originally appeared on LRT English: