Odor: Sectors and Location Important When Reopening Economy

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NBS vice-governor Ludovit Odor (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 16 (TASR) – If economic restrictions in Slovakia are to be gradually eased, we need to have novel coronavirus under control, monitor its spread and continue to observe strict health procedures, Slovakia’s central bank (NBS) vice-governor Ludovir Odor has written in his private blog.

According to Odor, if the economy is to be gradually reopened, there’s need to start with sectors that are key for the economy and that haven’t seen demand reduced significantly as a result of the situation abroad.

“There’s a need to realise that opening up the economy doesn’t mean a concurrent loosening of measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Quite the opposite is true – we can only help the economy if we strictly adhere to hygiene rules. We can forget about easing measures in the case of high-risk groups (the elderly, chronically ill) for a long time,” wrote Odor.

Odor would start planning to reopen the economy with differences based on locations and professions. “There can be far fewer cases in the Kysuce area of northwestern Slovakia than in the Zahorie area of western Slovakia. Similarly, the virus probably has a much higher chance of spreading in restaurants than among IT workers,” he noted. Relaunched parts of the economy will have to undergo mass testing regardless of whether somebody has symptoms or not, he added.

The process might start with retail outlets that aren’t located in shopping centres. Segments in which many people gather, such as restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas, should come last, said the NBS vice-governor.

Concerning the reopening of schools, Odor stressed the need to continue to wear face masks and to sit apart. “At the beginning education should be short, and several classes should be taught at various times. Old and sick teachers would no longer be able to teach,” wrote Odor, adding that the conclusion of the school year and school-leaving exams might be resolved in this way.