Lithuania is considering installing thermal sensors at its border crossing points and airports in an effort to prevent the so-called Wuhan coronavirus from entering the country.
Coronavirus: more measures in plan
© Reuters / Scanpix

"We are very seriously considering using thermal imaging devices, most probably not only at airports, but also at other posts through which people travel," Deputy Health Minister Algirdas Seselgis told reporters on Thursday.

Lithuanian medics have received the necessary reagents and are now able to diagnose coronavirus infections on their own, according to the official.

"If there is any suspicion, we now have the ability to promptly carry out coronavirus tests on our own, without having to turn to any other laboratory," he said.

The coronavirus outbreak that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan has killed around 170 people and some 7,700 have been infected. Cases of the disease have been confirmed in some European countries, too.

According to Seselgis, no suspected cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Lithuania yet.

"There have been calls from people, but so far there have been no cases that we could call suspicious," he said.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health have also met with Chinese Ambassador to Lithuania Zhifei Shen and agreed that warning stands in the Chinese language will be installed at Lithuanian airports.

Rolanda Lingiene, head of the Vilnius Department of the National Public Health Center, says specialists are working at airports and the port of Klaipeda and have consulted 300 airplane passengers.

"Out of these passengers, 41 visited China for different reasons. And the absolute majority of them were Lithuanian citizens," Lingiene said.

In his words, healthcare specialists are also working with tourism agencies and the Association of Hotels and Restaurants in preparation for the arrival of Chinese tourists.

Lingiene also said around 25 students from China are currently studying at Vilnius University and not all of them returned to China during the break between the fall and spring semesters.

Also on Thursday, another 30 students from China, South Korea, Taiwan and several other countries from this region are coming to attend an event at Vilnius University.

„Those countries, excluding China, are not in the risk zone, (…) but our specialists will be watchful as those foreigners might have recently visited China," Lingiene said.

Figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs show around 300 Lithuanians are currently in China, including three in the coronavirus epicenter in Wuhan.

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