South African version wrongly identified, British strain still prevails

More districts enter black tier again, but health minister soon expects improvement of the situation.

(Source: TASR)

The situation in Slovakia slightly improved over the past week and it seems that Slovakia has broken the curve, said Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO).

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The number of hospitalised patients remains above 4,000, and more than 100 people are dying every day. On the other hand, mobility decreased slightly and the number of vaccinated people has increased.

“The epidemiological situation will start to improve gradually,” Krajčí told the press on March 9.

Although more districts will be in the black tier from next week, three managed to return from black to red. Also, the British strain is prevalent, while mistakes occurred when identifying samples of the South African variant.

Map of districts shows more black

From March 15, 35 districts will be in the black tier, 41 in the dark red tier and three in a red tier. From the national point of view, Slovakia remains in the black tier.

Prevalent British strain

The British coronavirus strain is prevailing in Slovakia. The Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) has revealed the strain in 90 percent of 2,198 examined samples. Back in early February, the strain was uncovered in 74 percent of samples.

The prevalence of the British strain and the pace at which it became dominant in Slovakia prove that it is necessary to adhere to all anti-pandemic measures, the ÚVZ noted.

Mistakes in South African strain samples

Meanwhile, the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) announced that the six people identified with the South African strain do not actually have it.

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The samples were mixed up. The South African variant was confirmed in six other samples, said virologist Boris Klempa of the SAV.

He explained that from seven original samples, only one was correctly identified, a woman from Banská Bystrica who returned from Zanzibar.

Everybody whose samples were positive with the South African variant have returned from abroad, namely from Tanzania, Zanzibar and Turkey, Klempa told the news website.

He considers it a piece of good news as originally, scientists thought that a couple from Dolný Kubín (Žilina Region) who did not travel anywhere was infected with the strain. This would have meant that it is already uncontrollably spreading in Slovakia.

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