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Slovakia imposes overnight curfew to fight COVID


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Slovakia imposed an overnight curfew from Wednesday, the health ministry said, as the ex-communist country battles the world’s highest COVID mortality rate.

Slovaks will not be allowed out of their homes between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am, according to a government decree.

During the day, Slovaks are being asked to stay in their homes with some exceptions, including medical visits, going to work and walks in nature or with pets.

The curfew applies until March 19 but may be extended.

The EU country of 5.4 million has the world’s highest rate of COVID deaths, with 24 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days, according to an AFP tally.

The high rate “is due to many factors, Slovakia has made several mistakes,” Doctors’ Trade Union Association chairman Peter Visolajsky told AFP earlier.

“The lockdown was introduced too late and it is not sufficiently monitored. Also, this mortality rate is caused by the overall bad condition of Slovak healthcare,” Visolajsky said.

The expert said that, rather than adopting more restrictions, better enforcement of those already in place “could reduce the number of infections”.

Slovakia on Monday became the second country in the EU after Hungary to receive a shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines after ordering two million of the jabs.

Slovakia has also sent 10 patients for treatment in neighbouring Poland and is hosting a medical team from Romania after appealing to the EU for assistance.


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