Slovak government finally takes action as hospitals verging on collapse

According to the proposal of Prime Minister Eduard Heger, unvaccinated people would be prohibited from taking part in mass events, visiting wellness centres, and swimming pools. [EPA-EFE / Szilard Koszticsak]

After weeks of hesitation, the Slovak government will discuss tightening measures for unvaccinated people on Thursday as hospitals, now running short on beds equipped with ventilators, have been ordered to postpone some scheduled procedures by the health minister.

According to the proposal of Prime Minister Eduard Heger, unvaccinated people would be prohibited from taking part in mass events, visiting wellness centres, and swimming pools. Heger wants the tougher measures to last three weeks, after which the government will reevaluate them.

With only 45% of the population vaccinated, Slovakia’s vaccination rate is the third-lowest among member states, after Bulgaria and Romania. A third of people over 60 remain unvaccinated.

The good news is that in the last few weeks, interest in vaccination has been rising. Slovakia also rolled out the third jab for people over 55.

Medical personnel and experts warn that if Slovakia cannot slow down the pandemic, the country is heading towards humanitarian catastrophe. On Tuesday, there were only 20 beds with ventilators left in the country. The number of hospitalised people, primarily the unvaccinated, is rising by the hundreds every day, and the situation is worst in regions with the fewest vaccinated people.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)

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