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Two thirds of Lithuanians say govt is properly responding to coronavirus crisis – survey

BC, Vilnius , 23.03.2020.Print version
Two thirds of Lithuanian residents believe government institutions are properly responding to the coronavirus situation, a survey commissioned by LETA/BNS has shown.

Carried out earlier this month by Vilmorus, the survey revealed that 66% of those surveyed said government institutions were properly responding, and 19.3% believes they were not.

The survey was carried out on March 6-13.

At the time the survey was carried out, there were already confirmed coronavirus cases in Lithuania and decisions on preventive measures were being made, including those on school closures and the isolation of people returning from abroad. The ongoing quarantine was introduced already after the survey.

Compared to other European countries, Lithuania fairly early introduced strict measures to restrict movement within the country and entry into the country to slow the spread of the virus, and also released a business support plan on the first day of the quarantine. But the government has come under criticism for a limited scope of tests and a shortage of protective gear for medics.

The LETA/BNS survey also looked into the public attitude towards the way the media informed about the coronavirus crisis. 

It showed that 63% of Lithuanians believe the media are properly informing about the coronavirus situation, and 20.1%  say media outlets are not doing their job properly.

The coronavirus topic is completely dominating the media during the crisis, and journalists' workload has increased several times. But due to a drop in advertising revenue, some media outlets have announced stoppages and offered their staff to take their annual leave.

The Ethics Commission for Public Information called on journalists earlier this month to check their sources of information responsibly and base their reports only on the conclusions and recommendations of competent institutions and specialists, to avoid raising tensions and not to contribute to the spread of panic.

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