Caseload on the rise, but recent papal visit did not have much of an impact

The virus is spreading mostly in schools. Many districts are forced to adopt stricter measures.

The coronavirus has spread in schools, and some classrooms have already had to switch to remote education.The coronavirus has spread in schools, and some classrooms have already had to switch to remote education. (Source: TASR)

The pandemic situation in Slovakia is deteriorating relatively quickly. While last week, there were some 550 new daily cases, this week it was about 900.

“We expect that registering 1,000 new cases a day will be common next week,” said Matej Mišík, head of the Institute for Health Analyses, running under the Health Ministry.

Given the worsening situation and the rising number of patients in hospitals, several facilities started reprofiling their beds on Monday. This concerns mostly hospitals in Košice Region, Prešov Region, Banská Bystrica Region and Nitra Region, said Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee).

Papal visit had little impact

The daily caseload is impacted mostly by the spread of the virus at schools. There is quite an increase in the positive cases among schoolchildren and their parents, Mišík said.

This week, 851 out of almost 53,000 classrooms switched to remote education. Lengvarský said that in some cases, classrooms had to be closed because children came into contact with an unvaccinated and infected teacher. He stressed, though, that the government wants to keep schools open as long as possible.

Mišík also warns against big parties, like weddings, that have created hotspots in several districts.

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

Meanwhile, some 8 to 9 percent of detected cases require hospitalisation. The situation in hospitals differs from the regional point of view, with most people being hospitalised in eastern Slovakia.

From the share of patients occupying hospitals beds compared with the previous wave, the highest share is in Ilava (Trenčín Region), where beds reserved for Covid patients are filled to 40 percent of the previous wave’s maximum.

How big of an impact the mid-September visit of Pope Francis would have on the spread of the virus was a topic of concern, but Lengvarský said that it has not had a very significant effect.

Only one green district

The deteriorating situation is also reflected on the map of districts that apply measures based on the alert system, known as Covid automat.

Five districts will be placed in the dark red tier next Monday, September 27, while another 39 will be in the red tier, 34 in the orange tier, and only one (Dunajská Streda) in the green tier with the least strict rules. In practice, this means that in the majority of districts, people will not be allowed to sit inside restaurants and similar facilities without a negative test result or proof of vaccination.

Unvaccinated people face extensive restrictions in several districts Read more 

The situation has worsened in altogether 19 districts in comparison to last week. The virus is reportedly spreading at a fast rate in 14 districts (Bardejov, Bytča, Čadca, Dolný Kubín, Košice I-IV, Krupina, Senica, Skalica, Stará Ľubovňa, Žarnovica, and Žilina).

In 10 districts (Bardejov, Čadca, Dolný Kubín, Košice, Krupina, Námestovo, Senica, Skalica, Stará Ľubovňa, and Žarnovica), the rate of positive tests in relation to the total number of tests exceeds 15 percent.

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