Slovakia confirmed a record of 4,046 new COVID – 19 infections for the past day on Friday, according to the health authorities.
The country’s medical association and other health organisations had already warned that hospitals were reaching their limits, and had criticised the government’s pandemic policy, calling it chaotic.
Most shops have been closed in the country, aside from food stores, pharmacies, petrol stations and outlets for other basic necessities, in a regulation in force since Dec. 19.
That day, a curfew also went into effect, and police were monitoring compliance.
People may still walk to work and exercise outdoors, however.
Local media criticised the fact that the regulations also expressly permitted skiing, and for two households to stay overnight together in winter sports areas.
One of the country’s best-known ski resorts belongs to Boris Kollar, the right-wing populist parliamentary president, who heads the We Are Family party, the second largest in the governing coalition.
Slovakia, with a population of 5.5 million, drew worldwide attention in November by introducing mass testing.
Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Igor Matovic had initially said this would be an alternative to a lockdown, but then acknowledged the growing danger of hospitals becoming overloaded.
Matovic and other members of government recently announced they had tested positive for the virus.(dpa/NAN)