Caputova: Situation in Slovakia Critical, Gov’t Must Take Action

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President Zuzana Caputova at a press conference following her meeting with experts on February 16, 2021 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 16 (TASR) – The epidemiological situation in Slovakia is extraordinarily grave and serious, President Zuzana Caputova warned after her Tuesday meeting with scientists of the government consilium and an initiative called Science Helps.

Caputova repeatedly underlined the need to listen to the voice of science because the “pandemic is an exclusively expert and not a political issue”. She believes that it’s imperative for the government to start responding to the situation accordingly.

The President attributed the adverse COVID-19 figures seen in Slovakia to the delay in the introduction of a strict lockdown. She urged the government to start carrying out measures that might be laborious but tried-and-true. “Let’s devote less time to experiments,” she claimed.

According to Caputova, the scientists are in consensus on the need to apply more precise tracking of contacts. It’s also necessary to increase the supervision and enforcement of measures, whether it be the compliance with quarantine or border checks. She added that it is ill-advised to overestimate antigen testing and that the PCR testing capacities should be boosted, instead. “Aside from increased mobility, the mass testing also has a psychological effect,” pointed out Caputova to the fact that the people often perceive their certificates as a clean bill of health.

In addition, there’s the need for the government communication with the public to be more consistent and of better quality and the COVID response system should be updated in the face of the changing situation. Caputova warned also of the problems bedevilling hospitals, particularly overworked personnel, and pointed to the need to identify new viral strains potentially present in Slovakia.