Nitra COVID emergency may repeat in Bratislava

Health minister says situation in the hospitals of the Slovak capital is alarming and worsening.

The mass testing in Nitra.The mass testing in Nitra. (Source: TASR)

The coronavirus situation in Bratislava is worse than the initial results of the mass testing in the capital suggested.

Health Minister Marek Krajčí reported the updated numbers from the nationwide testing on January 29. Of the altogether 2, 974,323 tests, 36,978 resulted as positive. The positive rate thus remains at 1.24 percent.

But the positivity rate in the capital is higher than the numbers the government reported earlier this week suggested. The positivity rate in Bratislava is at 1.3 percent.

"If the situation in Bratislava continues developing like this, it will become similar to that in Nitra," Krajčí told the journalists. Nitra has been the most troubled district in Slovakia in January.

Bratislava is an at-risk region. Krajčí called on its inhabitants to maintain utmost caution and get tested if they need to leave home to go to work or for other reasons.

From next week, however, evidence of a negative test will not be required in these regions. The government has changed its decision from earlier this week to the effect that inhabitants of Bratislava and Nitra will not be required to carry evidence of a negative test, despite the fact that they are in a region with higher positivity rates.

Under the current curfew rules, people in districts that placed in the top half with higher positivity rates are required to have the result of their negative test with them on their way to work, errands or outings.

The second largest city, Košice in eastern Slovakia, has recorded an increase in cases as well.

Related articleCurfew will be prolonged. Negative test result will be required for work or trips to nature (FAQ) Read more 

Slovakia is expected to switch to the rules of the COVID automat as of February 8. Krajčí, however, does not expect the parametres of the coronavirus situation to improve enough to allow the country to switch to the dark-red, lower level of alert.

"We are still in the black phase of the alert system," Krajčí said. The black phase is marked as Warning level 4.

Krajčí said people should expect the state of emergency to be further prolonged after February 8. He will most likely also propose another curfew from February 8, with negative test requirement for movement to work.

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