If you have any questions about the coronavirus, please contact the National Public Health Centre at 8 618 79984 (24/7).
If you have been in China in 2020 and feel similar simptoms to flu uppon arrival back home, please contact the emergency services by dialling 112.
Upon unceasing talks in the world about the threat of coronavirus in China, Lithuania is taking temporary protection measures. From Saturday, specialists of the National Public Health Centre (NPHC) have been on duty at all three Lithuanian Airports. They consult persons who have travelled to China. According to specialists, Lithuania is prepared to tackle the threat of such magnitude.
“In Lithuania, we do not have such recorded cases or suspicions of this infection; however, with the approaching Chinese New Year season, we take temporary additional risk management measures. Therefore, from January 25th, specialists who provide information on coronavirus, its risk, also the need for health monitoring for those who have travelled to China, are available for travellers at arrival lounges of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga Airports. Such measures will be employed until the unfavourable epidemiological situation passes”, commented Ms. Rolanda Lingienė, Director of Vilnius Department of the National Public Health Centre.
Prepared to tackle the threat
According to Ms. Lingienė, Lithuania is prepared to tackle the threat of such magnitude. This was proved by civil safety functional exercise, organised by the National Public Health Centre and Lithuanian Airports Vilnius branch in December 2019.
During such large-scale exercise, a situation when a crew of a specific aircraft notifies of a passenger who has contracted the suspected infectious disease is imitated.
“The practice has showed smooth inter-institutional cooperation as everybody knew their functions, order of actions and therefore we are prepared even for more complicated cases. Together with 14 competent institutions, we have learned how to take control of the situation when a person infected with a virus arrives to Lithuania. Although the threat of Ebola haemorrhagic fever was imitated in December, the action plan for responding to the risk of coronavirus would be analogous”, assures Ms. Lingienė.
What would happen at the time of an analogous situation? After the aircraft crew notifies of a suspected case of the virus, an approved plan is launched, and several institutions start preparation. The aircraft is directed to Vilnius Airport where such cases can be effectively dealt with. Immediately, NPHC specialists and ambulance crew are informed. It is namely NPHC specialists who assess the actual situation regarding the possible infection, as they are the first to enter the aircraft. A possibly infected passenger or several of them are taken in a special capsule to Santara Clinic where highly advanced quarantine measures are applied. At the airport, if there is such a need, passengers are consulted and thorough disinfection of the aircraft, premises, and equipment are performed.
“We maintain constant communication with specialists of the National Public Health Centre who provide us the most recent information on the spread and risk of the coronavirus. Lithuanian Airports have approved an action plan for the cases of addressing the suspicion of the especially contagious disease and the situation (quarantine)”, claims the Director of Vilnius Airport Dainius Čiuplys.
Outbreak Centre – Hubei Province
Based on data of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), until 7:00 a.m. of January 25, there were 87 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV infection. 26 people have died in China as a result of the coronavirus in China. Infected people were also recorded in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, United States of America, Singapore and Vietnam. The cases of all these infected people are related with their trips to Wuhan, or they have come into contact with other sick people. Besides, the Ministry of Health of France has confirmed data that three cases of the virus have been identified in France.
Considering the number of infected people who, however, have not been to Wuhan, it has been declared that the infection could be transmitted from human to human. This information is still being updated. WHO notifies that the majority of the cases are associated with Wuhan marketplaces or at least with visits to Wuhan itself. Among the infected, there are people who have not been to this city, however they had communicated with the sick ones. Therefore, currently two cities of China – Wuhan and Huanggang – have been closed, whereas events are being cancelled in Being.
Symptoms of the persons infected with this virus are similar. They suffer from fever, cough, breathing difficulty, as the symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia (influenza). The virus is suspected to be most dangerous to young children, seniors or people with health disorders.
The persons coming back from China who have symptoms characteristic for respiratory infections are recommended seeing a doctor urgently (not visiting directly, but informing over the phone on the manifested symptoms and former trips, listening to doctor’s further instructions) and if the symptoms are noticed during a flight, informing the aircraft crew. Travellers are recommended receiving a seasonal flu vaccine at least 2 weeks before a trip. Besides, specialists recommend refraining from not necessary trips to the epicentre of the virus outbreak.