BRATISLAVA: Slovakia has posted its biggest daily jump in the number of new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to nearly 1,000, the country's Health Ministry said on Thursday (Apr 16).
While neigbours in central Europe such as the Czech Republic and Poland begin to ease restrictions as the growth in cases slows or steadies, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic has said the country will re-open only cautiously.
On Wednesday, Slovakia recorded 114 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 977, according to the Health Ministry.
The jump surpassed a daily rise of 101 cases recorded on April 7, when at least 31 cases were detected in marginalised Roma communities, prompting the state to quarantine five settlements in eastern Slovakia.
Matovic, in office since March after his anti-corruption OLANO party won a February election, said on Tuesday he would announce a plan of easing restrictions next Monday.
But he added any loosening would be decided by healthcare experts, not politicians, pressing back some voices in his own government who want a quicker start to re-opening to help hard-hit businesses.
The country of 5.5 million has so far seen eight deaths among those who tested positive for coronavirus since its first detection on March 6.
Since then it has banned international passenger travel, closed schools and most shops, banned cultural, religious and sporting events and imposed 14-day quarantine for anyone returning from abroad.