"There will be implications for Lithuania in any case, because there are both direct effects through disrupted supply chains and indirect effects through falling demand," the minister told LRT Radio. "In other words, both manufacturing and international trade could be affected."

"When the virus outbreak had not yet spread outside China, the IMF forecast that there might be a negative impact in the first quarter, but now I think there is high uncertainty, given that the virus is moving and spreading further in Europe," Sapoka said.

"I think we must be vigilant and prudent and ready for any scenarios," he added.

According to the minister, Lithuania has enough financial reserves to deal with a coronavirus outbreak if the disease spread into the country.

"As to preparedness for an outbreak of this kind, Lithuania is ready. There are certainly enough reserves to buy protective equipment and medicines," he said.

The COVID-19 virus has already spread to 28 countries and is causing increasing concern due to new outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The coronavirus has been rapidly spreading in northern Italy lately.

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