Krajci: Current Lockdown in Slovakia Not Working, It Might Be Toughened

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Health Minister Marek Krajci (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 1 (TASR) – The current lockdown in Slovakia isn’t working – the number of patients in hospitals is still growing, albeit not a very fast pace, said Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO) before the Cabinet session on Monday, adding that he’s not sure how long hospitals will be able to deal with such a situation.

The minister pointed to the fact that 3,653 patients are currently in hospitals in Slovakia due to novel coronavirus. “The situation is beginning to be very serious despite all the measures we’ve taken. We’ll see what the effects of the testing we’ve carried out will be,” he said, adding that he wants to discuss further procedures with experts at a meeting of the pandemic commission on Tuesday (February 2). The so-called COVID automaton will be on the agenda as well.

Krajci sees a potential solution in toughening up the curfew. This might be carried out via SMS messages. “People will send SMS’s requesting an exemption, and a head office will send them back an SMS allowing them to break the curfew for the necessary time,” said the minister, adding that an agreement on this will be sought with mobile operators.

Krajci wants to inform the Government about an overview of the latest publications focusing on the British variant of novel coronavirus, which is probably complicating the situation in Slovakia. He ordered the Public Health Authority (UVZ) to detect the presence of the British mutation using PCR tests.

The minister said that Slovakia should be in the “black zone” as of February 8, with the country being completely locked down and only critical infrastructure functional. He stressed that he’s never been a supporter of the idea of Slovakia completely shutting down its economy. “It’s very easy to switch off production, but it might have huge impacts on our economy if supplier contracts are lost,” he added.