Slovak government approves troops for help, as COVID cases rise

PRAGUE (SLOVAKIA) – Slovakia again reported daily record number of new coronavirus infections on Friday. This has worried the government and forced it to call up hundreds of troops to aid public health officials.

At least 1,184 newly infected people were identified on Thursday, the government said on Friday. The total infections in the country with a population of 5.5 million has touched 16,910. It has reported 57 deaths so far with 370 hospitalised as of Thursday.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic told a news conference, “I am beginning to be concerned whether the measures adopted can be effective with such marked growth in the numbers of positive people.”

Health Minister Marek Krajci said the “R” number was around 1.4, which translates to a doubling of new infections in a week.

The government has approved 1,500 troops to help at local public health offices and at hospitals. An initial 267 of them will be deployed in the weekend to help find contacts of infected people.

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