"We see the situation as threatening. In light of the situation and scenarios in other countries, my proposal is to halt (the educational process) for two weeks starting tomorrow," he said.

The minister expects the State Emergency Operations Center to make a decision on the issue by lunch.

According to the minister, the authorities are considering closing schools for two-week holidays to give them time to prepare for carrying out the educational process remotely.

"We want to keep things under control to prevent panics. There are kindergartens, general education schools, vocational schools and universities. We have to make arrangements to use the holiday period, where available, not including kindergartens, (…) to prepare for remote education," he said.

According to Monkevicius, his ministry is monitoring the situation and collecting information about children, teachers and other staff who have returned from coronavirus hot spots.

Lithuania has confirmed three coronavirus cases to date. All three tested positive for the virus after returning from northern Italy.

Globally, more than 126,000 cases of the COVID-19 infection have been reported, 4,600 people have died, and 68,000 have recovered.