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With the coronavirus pandemic spreading worldwide, the choice of the most effective and adequate prevention, treatment, and quarantining means and strategies is critical. Accurate and timely information pre-empts various speculations and assists in preventing public panic. On the other hand, the dynamics of spread of the infection and other data are essential for making optimal logistics, epidemiological, and economic decisions. This is a complex problem because we have to keep assessing the impact not only on human health but also on the economy of Lithuania as a whole. Errors might cost lives and billions of euros.
Realising the importance of the latest information on COVID-19 for the general public and politicians, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences decided to muster the forces of experts in various fields. On 19 March 2020, a board of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences for qualified evaluation of the Covid-19 infection and dissemination of the latest science-based information about the virus was established and approved at a meeting of the Division of Biological, medical, and Geosciences of the Academy. Composition of the commission: Prof. Dr habil. Vytautas Usonis, chair; members – Assoc. Prof. Dr Tomas Kačergius, Assoc. Prof. Dr Sigita Burokienė, Prof. Dr Aurelija Žvirblienė, and Prof. Dr Vytautas Kasiulevičius. Commission coordinators: Kęstutis Sasnauskas and Rūta Dubakienė, both members of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.
In the main menu item http://www.lma.lt/covid-19 of the website of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences www.lma.lt, you will find the latest information on the origin of the virus, its symptoms, the diagnostic and treatment methods already applied and those still in the process of development. This information has been prepared and discussed by the best specialists in Lithuania. For example, an overview of infection-specific treatment was prepared by Assoc. Prof. Dr Sigita Burokienė and Prof. Dr Jolanta Gulbinovič, both of Vilnius University. On 20 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced the launch of ‘Solidarity Trial’, a global testing of four different most promising medicines. This study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of remdesivir, a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, the two drugs plus interferon beta, and chloroquine in treating COVID-19 patients. Thousands of patients worldwide are expected to be included in this study. It has been reported that other new medicines, such as favipiravir used to treat influenza, may also be included in the study.
Information of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences