Slovakia tightens seal on borders as country breaks Covid records

Government cites the new variants spreading in Europe as the reason. Hospitals still under strain, vaccination of teachers finally underway.

A teacher arrived to the vaccination centre in Košice on February 13, wearing a traditional folk costume.A teacher arrived to the vaccination centre in Košice on February 13, wearing a traditional folk costume. (Source: Mesto Žilina)

After 40 days in lockdown and four weeks of mass testing using rapid tests, Slovakia does not have much good news to report. Due to inaccuracies in the reporting of its Covid numbers, the graphs of active cases in Slovakia were happily showing a declining trend, but the more accurate statistics are painting a somewhat grimmer picture.

By last weekend, Slovakia became the worst in the world when it comes to the number of Covid deaths, as shown by the statistics on Our World in Data. The rolling seven-day average of daily new confirmed Covid deaths per one million inhabitants stood at 17.71 as of February 13, slightly more than Portugal, the only other country in the world exceeding 17.

In a separate set, the Statistics Office reported that mainly due to the excessive deaths in the last quarter of the year (when the second wave gained momentum in the country), Slovakia suffered its worst annual death toll since the end of World War II. This year is set to become even worse - by the end of 2020, the coronavirus death toll reached 2,250, but the figure has more than doubled since then and the trend is unlikely to reverse in the coming weeks, given the steadily high number of daily new infections.

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