"I believe we made a mistake when we thought – and Lithuania was not the only to do so – that local lockdowns would be sufficient," he told LRT Radio.
The outgoing minister insisted, however, that the difficult situation the country is in now was primarily due to people's failure to follow the requirements and recommendations.
Veryga noted that it is always easier to look at the situation from a perspective, looking back and considering what could have been done better.
"I would disagree with statements that the government has not taken action," he said. "I don't know if it's rational to close the country completely, the way it was done in the spring, because that has other consequences", such as limited access to health services, deteriorating mental health or even suicides, he said.
Prime Minister-designate Ingrida Simonyte called on the outgoing Cabinet to further tighten the lockdown restrictions during its last sitting on Wednesday, but outgoing Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said that she had offered no concrete proposals how to do this.
Lithuania set yet another daily record for new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 3,330 new infections registered in the last 24 hours.
Thirty-one new fatalities were registered, bringing the country’s coronavirus death toll to 735.
A total of 83,883 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Lithuania so far. The country currently has 47,810 active cases and 34,975 recoveries.
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The White House says it will pursue enhanced cooperation with Lithuania on trade and security issues.