The Slovak government has announced a 90-day state of emergency and ordered two weeks of a national lockdown as the number of positive cases with COVID-19 in the country spiked up.
During the two-week lockdown, Slovaks will be able to leave their homes only for essential reasons such as getting groceries, medication, travelling to work and school or getting vaccinated. Those still unvaccinated will be required to present a negative test or proof that they were previously infected with COVID-19 in order to get to work, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“In Slovakia, a state of emergency and a curfew apply for 90 days from Thursday, November 25, 2021, except for the time from 1.00 to 5.00. There is also a ban on gatherings of more than six people, except for people living in the same household,” the Slovak Ministry of Interior announced.
In general, Central Europe is being subject to an increasing rate of COVID-19 infections, in response to which the Austrian government imposed a national lockdown until December 13. Moreover, Slovakia’s neighbouring countries, Czechia and Hungary, are witnessing a spike in COVID infections. Furthermore, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) data, Germany has reported more than 1,000 deaths and over 367,000 positive cases in the last week, also marking a record of over 100,000 death tolls.
On Wednesday, the newly elected German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said that the situation is challenging and that nothing in terms of restrictions and lockdown isn’t ruled out to mitigate the COVID-19 spread.
The decision follows president Zuzana Čaputová’s statements on Tuesday that the country is losing the battle against COVID. She also pointed out that the lockdown was long due as the healthcare staff became overworked, and the number of patients in the hospitals became almost unbearable.
The Slovak Health Ministry has revealed that the country surpassed the 3,000-hospitalisation cap, noting that almost 83 per cent of those hospitalized were not vaccinated. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 47.6 per cent of the Slovak adult population is partially vaccinated, whereas 45.7 per cent is fully vaccinated, about 20.1 per cent less than the average uptake of full vaccination in the total EU/EEA population.
WHO data shows that 53,530 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Slovakia during the last seven days, taking the total number of infection rates recorded to 631,738. In addition, since the pandemic erupted, 14,056 deaths related to the virus have been recorded in the country, with 369 of those reported in the last week.