Slovak minister asks EU partners for vaccines to help ‘tragic’ COVID situation

Nurses prepare the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines at the University Hospital, in Nitra, Slovakia

Slovakia’s foreign minister called on EU partners on Monday to send an advance vaccine shipment to the central European country which he said was in a “tragic” coronavirus situation with record numbers of cases.

The country of 5.5 million has suffered about 100 deaths per day recently, the highest in the world relative to population on a one-week basis and ahead of neighbouring Czech Republic, according to data tracker

Slovakia had 3,672 patients in hospital with confirmed coronavirus as of Sunday.

“I will inform my foreign minister colleagues about the very serious and what can be called tragic situation we have with COVID,” Ivan Korcok told reporters ahead of a foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

“I will turn to them to ask them, if they have a vaccine they cannot use at the moment, to provide it to us.

“I believe it would be a very good sign of cooperation on the EU level. I fully realise that other countries have a vaccine shortage as well but Slovakia now, also based on the fact that we have the highest death rate, at the moment needs it most.”

Slovakia has asked through the EU’s emergency mechanism for the help of 10 doctors and 25 nurses from abroad.

The country has reported 6,577 deaths from coronavirus. It had vaccinated 272,341 people with at least one dose as of Sunday, according to government data, slightly ahead of the European Union average.

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