The Slovak Spectator

Inside a hospital red zone: How health workers fight COVID-19 in Slovakia

Chief physician Ivan Kocan and doctor Ján Lazor check a COVID-19 patient's medical condition. (Source: Sme/Jozef Jakubčo)

The ward is silent, yet health workers in protective suits work tirelessly to help COVID-19 patients.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, access to the Respiratory Clinic of the University Hospital in Martin, central Slovakia, is possible only in two cases - either you work there, or you are a COVID-19 patient whose lungs need help.

Read through and see for yourself what it looks like in the red zone of the clinic in Martin and what frontline workers go through every day.

“Do you suffer from anxiety?” asks Ivan Kocan, a chief physician at the Respiratory Clinic of the University Hospital in Martin, handing me an unwrapped respirator. As soon as I put it on, I begin to realise the meaning behind his question. Those who are not used to wearing a respirator feel a lack of oxygen immediately.

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

More articles from: News

Top stories

Senate voted STU rector down. They also cite fake news website

The session of the Academic Senate proposed that Rector Fikar be dismissed. Police called to the university as well.

Miroslav Fikar

Dozens of people die of COVID every day. A drop not expected for at least two weeks

People who would otherwise survive may die of other serious diagnoses due to the epidemic.

Illustrative stock photo

Slovakia orders a curfew and embarks on its COVID experiment

High turnout in testing in four northern districts, decision awaited on extending the project to the nation. Prison for a prominent prosecutor and parliament's speaker injured.

Waiting for the results of COVID tests during the pilot phase of the nationwide testing in the town of Nižná in Orava, northern Slovakia.

Volunteering in developing countries is an adventure from beginning to end

Slovak Jozef Baňás spent 12 months volunteering in Georgia.

Jozef Baňás