Analyst: Coronavirus spread has slowed down thanks to disciplined people

Martin Smatana says that a second and third wave of the coronavirus epidemic is possible.

Martin Smatana heads the Institute of Health Policies (IZP) at the Health Ministry in Bratislava. Martin Smatana heads the Institute of Health Policies (IZP) at the Health Ministry in Bratislava. (Source: TASR)

Prime Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) told the press conference on Friday that he did not want to publish your latest prognosis out of worries that people will start violating the measures when they see the positive scenario it presents. How do you view this statement?

Martin Smatana: We see it similarly at the Institute for Health Policy (IZP). I repeatedly stressed during our press conference that even with the positive numbers there is no reason for optimism. The fact that it has improved also means it can worsen just like in many other countries.

Related articleNew prognosis for Slovakia: The spread of the coronavirus dropped under the critical limit Read more 

All it takes is one person who violates the rules by not wearing a mask etc. and we will be three weeks back in time. Despite this risk, we wanted to publish our study because it was used in the decision making process on easing the restrictions on businesses on Monday. We also wanted to let people know that the situation is getting better.

How high is the probability that this third prognosis that you have just published will really become a reality?

MS: This is a scenario. Any kind of decision might cause the numbers to shift. That is why we update it once every two to three days. It takes just one press conference, one social services home or one marginalised community we know nothing about and the situation will be absolutely different.

Related articleCoronavirus measures work. Very few severe cases in Slovakia so far Read more 

This is a very unique virus we have no experience with. It is mean in that it does not present with symptoms to a large extent. That is why it is very important, while we have no vaccine, not to give up on discipline. Still, I am positively surprised by how people in Slovakia follow the rules.

Could we say that if the situation went the way it's gone so far, it is a rather probable scenario?

MS: The key thing is what results the tests in social care homes and in marginalised communities bring. If they confirm it is there and it is spreading freely out of our control, the current prognoses would fit.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Sulík presents his pandemic plan, but PM Matovič remains critical

Rules for entering Spain change. Former police chief Gašpar remains in custody. State auctions the 5G network frequencies.

Richard Sulík presented his pandemic plan on November 23.

Which are the largest law firms in Slovakia?

For the first time, the ranking also provides an overview in partial categories of law.

Government has learned little, hesitates to open school gates

Education is a question of rights. So is protesting against the government, but at what costs? Slovakia welcomes hefty investment that comes with a warning sign.

Special regional restrictions and better tracing. SaS has introduced its plan to fight the pandemic

The document is based on eight chapters, which should contribute to economic recovery.

Richard Sulík introduces his plan.