Slovakia braces for third Covid wave as Health Ministry warns of infection peak in October

Pope visit not expected to have had major impact on epidemic.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Archive of Sme)

When Pope Francis began a four-day tour of Slovakia at the end of last week, questions were raised over whether the massive crowds he was expected to draw could lead to a wave of Covid-19 infections.

The pontiff travelled across the country, drawing large crowds wherever he went, and more than 50,000 gathered at a special mass in Šaštín on September 15.

And although there were sectors for vaccinated and unvaccinated people at the event, and social distancing and mask-wearing was mandated, local media reports suggested some people ignored the restrictions, coming into close contact and not wearing face masks.

But Health Ministry officials, and disease modelling experts, have said they are not expecting the pope’s visit to have had a major impact on what authorities admit is a rapidly worsening epidemic situation.

Richard Kollár of the Science Helps initiative – an informal grouping of experts and scientists in medical and other fields - told The Slovak Spectator: “Taking into consideration that there are about 700,000 pupils and students currently attending schools, football matches being played, a recent aviation festival that normally draws tens of thousands of people, as well as weddings and other events, I do not think [the visit of Pope Francis] will be a turning point in the epidemic in Slovakia.”

Speaking to The Slovak Spectator, Matej Mišík, chair of the Institute of Health Analyses which is part of the Health Ministry, added: “We expect a significant growth of [Covid-19] infections in the upcoming days regardless of the Holy Father’s visit, both in the districts he visited but also in those he did not.”

Third wave – almost everyone will be exposed to the virus

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

Top stories

Opening of the time capsule of Michael's Tower.

Time capsule stored in Bratislava's St Michael statue 176 years ago reveals its secrets

The public can see the items found in the box in the Bratislava City Museum at the Old Town Hall this weekend.

22. okt
Bratislava's Old Town presents its most beautiful trees

Bratislava’s Old Town introduces most beautiful trees via game

One of the spotlighted trees is a majestic European beech in the evangelical cemetery Kozia Brána (Goat Gate).

22. okt
Renáta Kamenárová teaches Slovak at the University of Pittsburgh. She has also co-written several "Krížom krážom" textbooks, which are used by those teaching Slovak to foreigners.

‘Speaking English is almost like having a hot potato stuck in your mouth the entire time you talk’

But in Slovak, your tongue actually works, says an American who learns Slovak.

22. okt
“My Sunny Maad”, a Czech-French-Slovak animated drama about a Czech woman married to an Afghan who decide to live in post-Taliban Afghanistan, is now screened in Slovak cinemas.

Weekend: German adventurer is walking to Iran, with his stubborn donkey

Jazz music is taking over Bratislava this weekend.

22. okt
Skryť Close ad