Record COVID-19 cases reported in Czech Republic, Slovakia

The Czech Republic and Slovakia hit record numbers for new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic reached a new high of 22,479 cases, marking an increase of nearly 8,000 from just a week ago and surpassing a previous record set in January by 5,000, according to The Associated Press.

With 8,342 new cases, Slovakia exceeded its previous record of 7,244 cases, which was set on Friday, the AP reported. 

The governments in both countries, which have vaccination rates below the average in other European Union members, are considering new restrictions as a result of the rising infections.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the country could require a lockdown for the unvaccinated. The government is also considering restricting who can attend public events or enter spaces like bars and restaurants based on COVID-19 tests, the AP noted.

In Slovakia, where hospitals are crowded with mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, the government reportedly intends to impose restrictions on people who have not received their shots.

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger’s Cabinet is set to vote Thursday on medical experts’ recommendations such as imposing a three-week policy prohibiting unvaccinated people from nonessential places like shopping malls, gyms, pools, hotels and large public gatherings, the news service reported.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added the Czech Republic to its highest risk category for travel. Slovakia had already been added to that list.

The CDC advises people to “avoid travel to these destinations.”

“If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the agency’s website warns. 


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