PRAGUE , -- Coronavirus cases rose to a new high in Slovakia on Wednesday. Some hospitals had to transfer COVID-19 patients to other parts of the country as they couldn't handle any more.
Authorities said that new infections in the Czech Republic were at an all-time high, surpassing previous waves.
According to the Slovak Health Ministry, the daily increase in new infections reached 7,055 Tuesday. This is more than the 6,805 record set last Thursday.
According to the ministry, 2,478 people required hospital treatment and 370 were admitted this week.
Around 80% of hospitalized patients have not been fully immunized.
Slovakia has one the lowest levels of vaccination in the EU. Only 2.4million people have been fully vaccinated out of a population that is close to 5.5 million.
Because they couldn't treat more serious cases, some hospitals in eastern and western Slovakia have been forced to transport patients to other clinics.
President Zuzana Cputova stated that "we're facing a catastrophe in hospitals." Caputova said that the vaccination rate must "significantly accelerate up."
Wednesday's new restrictions were approved by the Slovak government. They include the right for employers and employees to verify that their employees have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, or tested positive for coronavirus.
Employees would be denied entry to their workplace if they did not present these documents.
Bar and restaurant owners as well as organizers of events and gatherings for the public will need to verify that customers are safe.
Forgery and insulting medical staff will result in a $1,000 Euro ($1,155) increase in fines
The Czech Republic's Health Ministry reported Tuesday that the daily count of new cases rose to 14,539. This is approximately 4,500 more than the previous week and the highest since March 12.
January 7th saw the record breaking daily high of 17,776.
Over the past seven days, the country's infection rate climbed to 558 new infections per 100,000 people. This is more than twice the number recorded in Germany neighboring.
Prime Minister Andrejbabis stated Wednesday that "the situation is not good". "We appeal again to everyone to get vaccinated."
Nearly 6.2 million people have been fully immunized in this nation of 10.7 millions. This is lower than the average for the European Union countries.
A rise in hospitalizations has followed the rise in new cases. On Tuesday, 3,295 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals. This is almost twice the number of patients with COVID-19 since November's beginning.
All medical staff in hospitals, nursing homes and pensioner homes must be tested weekly if they aren't vaccinated. Adam Vojtech, Health Minister, stated that all foreigners who are legally allowed to enter the country will receive free vaccinations.
Babis stated that his Cabinet will approve additional measures on Friday, but did not give specific details. He ruled out strict lockdowns.
Both Slovakia and the Czech Republic were among the most severely affected EU countries by the pandemic.