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The son and wife of the man who was diagnosed with the coronavirus infection on Friday tested positive as well, the Health Ministry reported.
The patient, who is from the western-Slovak village of Kostolište (near the town of Malacky, Záhorie region), has not been to any country where the virus has occurred recently. His son, who did not show any symptoms of the virus, had been to Venice between February 14 and 15.
Patient zero identified
The son has been identified as "patient zero", or the first contact patient.
"This simplifies the realisation of epidemiologic measures," PM Peter Pellegrini said.
The father and son have been hospitalised at the infectology clinic of the University Hospital in Bratislava, while the mother remains isolated at home, Pellegrini added.
The family from the Záhorie region are the only three confirmed positive cases; the other 339 people who have received the testing results so far have been negative.
Schools in Malacky will be closed
School and after-school facilities in Malacky will be out of operation for a week.
“[The measure] concerns primary schools, free-time facilities, kindergartens and art schools,” said Malacky Mayor Juraj Říha after a meeting of the town’s crisis staff, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We’ll ask the Bratislava Self-Governing Region and Bratislava Archdiocese to suspend the operation of secondary schools for a week.”
The crisis staff will discuss the measures after a week, he added.
Meanwhile, about 10 people from the town’s social services centre, where the woman infected with coronavirus works, are in home quarantine. One of them had a sample taken and is waiting for the test results, Říha continued.
The crisis staff recommended closing down the social services centre for 14 days.
The public kitchen has also been temporarily closed. Another 12 people, who are clients of the non-profit organisation that resides close to the social services centre, are in home quarantine, too. Říha called on all senior clubs to stop their activities and suggested other organisations should cancel mass cultural, social and sport events held in the town.
All organisations should also regularly disinfect their facilities, TASR wrote.
Říha recommended the public avoid bigger events and personal contact with state bodies and offices, opting for written contact instead.
He also advised people not to panic and to concentrate on prevention.
Slovak family quarantined in Austria
The COVID-19 infection has also been confirmed in a Slovak family who are in quarantine in a holiday house on Neusiedlersee lake in Austria, not far from the border with Slovakia. The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the information for the TASR newswire.
The mother of the family recently attended an international congress in the US. She showed symptoms of the coronavirus infection on the day she returned. She was later informed that she has been in contact with an infected person during her stay in the US.
The father and two children also had symptoms of the COVID-19 infection later on. All four tested positive. The number of cases in Austria has thus risen to 66 as of the morning of March 7.
The crisis staff issued several measures on March 6:
- All flights from the Slovak international airports to Italy will be banned as of Monday, March 9.
- School trips and excursions abroad will be banned.
- Travellers at airports should be ready to have their temperature measured.
- Patients' visits in all hospitals around Slovakia will be banned.
- Visits to social care facilities are banned as well.
- Info campaign will be conducted at border crossings with Austria - Berg, Kittsee, and Jarovce. As of 16:00 on Friday, March 6, there will be additional checks at these border crossings, rescuers will be checking people for symptoms of the coronavirus.
- The National Centre of Health Information recommends people in Slovakia to use ePrescription service and limit visits to the doctor. Thanks to e-Prescription, people can just call their doctor on the phone and ask for the prescription that they can then pick up in any pharmacy.
- The government recommends the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia to consider restricting religious services that are attended by larger numbers of people.
The Health Ministry is sending two text messages to all mobile phone numbers in Slovakia. They recommend people not to go to the doctor unless necessary and to use the e-Prescription service instead. If you suspect you might be suffering from the coronavirus infection, do not go to the doctor and call the number +421 800 221 234.
Contacts for the public about coronavirus:
Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic – 0917 222 682, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Banská Bystrica - 0918 659 580
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Bratislava – 0917 426 075
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Nitra – 0948 495 915
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Trnava - 0905 903 053
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Trenčín – 0911 763 203
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Košice – 0918 389 841
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Prešov – 0911 908 823
Regional Public Health Authority with office in Žilina – 0905 342 812
Information lines operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
7. Mar 2020 at 8:51 (modified at 7. Mar 2020 at 17:38) | Compiled by Spectator staff