Slovakia does not have brave enough politicians to prevent dozens of deaths every day

The country is headed into a humanitarian crisis, says an expert advising the government.

Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (left) and PM Eduard Heger (right)Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (left) and PM Eduard Heger (right) (Source: TASR)

The daily Covid caseload is reaching record highs in Slovakia in mid-November, as are the numbers of patients in need of hospital care.

As of November 16, hospitals were caring for 2,879 people with Covid. Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said on Tuesday ahead of the cabinet meeting that the situation in hospitals is very serious and he issued an order for all hospitals to restrict planned surgeries.

One day before Slovakia's national holiday on November 17, only 20 lung ventilators were reported available in hospitals around Slovakia for new Covid patients. Hospitals were reported to have approximately 600 beds available for new patients who do not require oxygen therapy, according to the Health Ministry. Minister Lengvarsky has ordered hospitals in the most affected regions to increase the number of Covid beds beyond the maximum originally set for this phase.

On the evening of November 16, PM Eduard Heger made an appearance alongside Lengvarský and the experts advising the government on the pandemic. Heger said that in the next three weeks, people in Slovakia need to adhere to stricter measures in order to stabilise the situation in hospitals. He presented measures that should help slow the spread of the infection.

“We have to act very promptly,” Heger noted.

The measures are, however, not in effect yet. The government is scheduled to meet after the national holiday, on Thursday, November 18, to discuss them.

Experts proposed tougher measures earlier to decelerate the spread of infection but in the end, the government agreed and the parliament passed much milder measures than what experts proposed.

While neighbouring Austria imposed a lockdown for the unvaccinated, observers say Slovakia's politicians are simply not brave enough to make tough decisions.

Humanitarian crisis mentioned

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