From the world's best to the worst. The pandemic year in Slovakia

Things have been going steeply downhill in Slovakia since December.

(Source: TASR)

March 1, 2020 – The day after its parliamentary election, Slovakia is the last remaining country among its European neighbours without a confirmed coronavirus infection. But there are signs of a crisis: people are buying out hand sanitizers and detergents, which quickly become scarce goods on store shelves. PCR testing is launched for a while, but only negative results come in so far.

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March 6, 2020 – The first case of coronavirus in Slovakia is confirmed during a press conference of the outgoing PM Peter Pellegrini and Chief Hygienist Ján Mikas. The first official case in Slovakia is a 52-year-old man from the village of Kostolište in western Slovakia.

“Nothing tragic has happened,” Mikas says. “The situation is under control.”

The country swiftly adopts some anti-pandemic measures, including a ban on international flights to and from Italy, the hardest-hit European country in that country. At airports, travellers have their temperature measured. Visitors are not allowed to enter social care facilities.

March 10, 2020 – The government declares an emergency situation for all of Slovakia as of March 12, within one week from the first confirmed case.

“We do not want to wait until the situation worsens,” PM Peter Pellegrini says at a press conference.

The number of confirmed infections in the country is 10.

A ban on organising or attending any social, cultural or sports events applies. Tourist attractions are closed. In the course of a few days, Slovakia runs out of surgical masks, sold in pharmacies and online shops.

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