The government also decided to set up a State Emergency Operations Center, headed by Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga, to coordinate efforts against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Deputy Health Minister Algirdas Seselgis said the step was taken in light of the growing number of coronavirus cases in the world and the spread of the infection in Europe.

Declaring the state-level emergency will facilitate the use of the state reserve to manage the situation and will allow making purchases without public procurement procedures and provide mandatory instructions on migration from certain states or regions to Lithuania and vice versa, according to the vice-minister.

"All recommendations will be reviewed and some of them will become binding instructions," he said.

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, more than 80,000 cases of the coronavirus have been registered and almost 2,700 people have died of the disease globally.

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.

In Italy, more than 300 people have been infected and ten have died of the coronavirus. Eleven towns are under lockdown.