Several Central European countries are struggling with an outbreak of the virus, and the number of patients receiving intensive care in the Czech Republic has reached a new high.
On Tuesday, Czech authorities sent their first patient abroad to Poland for treatment since their facilities struggled to keep up.
Hungary has seen a significant increase in cases since December. Most shops and schools were closed on Monday, as the number of outbreaks continues to rise.
As many as 17,260 new cases were recorded on Wednesday, the highest number of daily cases recorded since late November. According to the health ministry’s spokesperson, rules are becoming “looser” regarding anti-Covid measures. Two areas in the north have seen restrictions re-enforced since they were relaxed last month.
On Tuesday, Czech MP Jiri Ventruba, 71, a surgeon specializing in pediatric neurosurgery, died of the epidemic. Later on, Wednesday, the number of Czech patients receiving Covid-19 treatment in hospitals reached 8,618, with 1,853 receiving intensive care treatment.
An exciting chart appeared this week illustrating the fall of the UK in Europe’s Covid ranking, which shows the UK dropped to the bottom of the rankings with 1,440 new cases per million in the past 14 days. The Czech Republic topped all countries with over 15,000 patients per million.
The Czechs also have one of the highest rates of deaths from Covid in the world, after the tiny nation of San Marino; according to Our World In Data,
Here in Europe, vaccination rates are just as slow as everywhere else. And the Czech Republic seems less enthusiastic about certifying Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine than Hungary or Slovakia.
However, there was some good news on Wednesday, with the Czech R (reproduction) rate dropping below 1 for the second day in a row. New infections continue to be reported at a high rate, with approximately 15,000 new cases reported on Tuesday.
In neighboring Slovakia, the death rate is second only to the Czech Republic. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Igor Matovic urged the EU medicines agency to swiftly approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, warning that lives were at stake.
Matovic obtained two million doses of Sputnik V without telling his coalition partners or the public. It was a bid to try it to see its effectiveness before acquiring more for their citizens.
The slow pace of immunization programs in the EU has been widely criticized. The delay was partly caused by the failure of AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom, to supply doses to member states.
In addition, Hungary’s death toll has been one of the highest recently, and its surgeon general, Cecilia Muller, has described the situation as very serious.
COVID-19 hospitalizations, in less than a week, reached a record 8,270, and Prime Minister Orban warned the number could rise to as much as 20,000.
Hungary’s vaccination campaign is on track, with 10.5% of the country’s population being immunized. The Hungarian government became the first European country in the EU to approve their use of the Sputnik V vaccine in January.
Rachel Lott is a Reporter for Chroniclex After graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, Rachel got an internship at USA Evening and worked as a Reporter and Producer. Rachel has also worked as a Reporter for WKYC TV and Fox News Channel. Rachel Covers International Developments.