Covid: Slovak health minister proposes extending lockdown till Dec 16

The cabinet is expected to make a final decision on Wednesday



By Reuters

Published: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 6:27 PM

Slovakia’s health minister said on Monday he would ask the cabinet to extend a lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 infections by one week until December 16.

Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million, has grappled with one of the world’s worst coronavirus waves in the past few weeks and introduced a lockdown that shut most shops and services on November 25.

Under the lockdown, Slovaks are allowed to go to school and work but non-essential movement between districts is banned, as well as most public gatherings and events. Non-essential shops are closed.

Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky told a news conference he would propose partial reopening from December 17 - but initially only for those vaccinated or those who had recovered from coronavirus infection.

The proposal was due to be discussed by the four ruling parties, who have often disagreed on epidemiological measures, later on Monday, and the cabinet is expected to make a final decision on Wednesday.

The country reported 3,419 hospitalised patients as of Sunday, above levels the government deems critically stretching capacities. More than 80% of hospitalised patients are not fully vaccinated, according to government data.

Slovakia is one of EU's least vaccinated countries, with 46.3% of total population fully vaccinated, versus EU average of 66.4%, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

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The Parliament has been debating a proposal to give vaccinated senior citizens 500 euro vouchers to raise interest in receiving the shot, and to boost spending.

The country has reported 14,900 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic.

It had 10,160 new daily cases and 87 daily deaths over the past week, the Health Ministry said.


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