Slovakia declared a state of emergency, coming into effect on Thursday morning, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The measure will, for example, give the government the priority rights in buying vital medical supplies, such as artificial lung ventilation devices.
So far, Slovakia has ten confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Although by declaring the state of emergency, the government has gained priority purchasing rights, according to Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, the rights of Slovaks will not be restricted.
“The state and the government will be able to demand the supply of goods or services from certain organizations in the Slovak Republic. Moreover, even though we will probably never take such a measure, the government can request certain individuals to do some tasks to combat the spread of coronavirus,” said Pellegrini.
The prime minister further assured Slovaks that the state emergency would not lead to a restriction of human rights. According to him, the situation is comparable, for example, to the measures taken in case of local floods.
On Tuesday, the Slovak government’s ban on mass sport, cultural and social events for two weeks, came into effect. Furthermore, Slovaks returning from Italy are required to enter home quarantine.
Today, Slovak officials will discuss further measures, which might include closing all schools. Some municipalities have already stopped teaching at primary or secondary schools.
Other countries in the region have also declared a state of emergency, including Hungary, which has banned travel from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.
Title image: Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini talks to journalists as he arrives at the Smer-SD party headquarters after the general elections in Bratislava, Slovakia, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Two exit polls showed late Saturday that Slovakia’s opposition appears to be winning parliamentary elections widely expected to unseat the long-dominant but scandal-tainted leftist party that governed on an anti-immigration platform. (Vaclav Salek/CTK via AP)