Learning from the example of Italy, the countries of the Central European region acted quickly to introduce restrictions and to prevent massive infections in their states. One month ago, the Czech Republic and Austria were the countries most at risk, but since then, the number of new patients has rapidly decreased. In Slovakia and Croatia, not more than ten new infections were reported this week. Many countries seem to slowly defeat the virus, but in the region, Hungary is not doing well.
Portfólió reported that during the first weeks of March, the epidemic showed up in almost every Central European country at the same time. From the examples of Italy and China, countries alongside Hungary had time to prepare for the epidemic, and the necessary restrictions were introduced. Almost two months ago, we could only guess whether they would be successful, but these days, we can see that massive numbers of infection – like in some Western European countries – did not happen.
To sum up, the coronavirus epidemic arrived in the region later and infected fewer people than in Western Europe. This means that the restrictions can be carefully eased earlier than expected.
The number of infections in these countries decreased either slowly or rapidly in only a few days. It is also clear that the high number of coronavirus patients does not mean that the epidemic cannot be stopped. In the region, Austria was the most successful and managed to have fewer than 100 patients in April. In Romania and Poland, there are still many infected people, but the numbers do not increase.
In the Czech Republic, it was a brave estimation that the rate of infection would decrease by April, but it really has. In Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia, the number of new infections has been below ten in the past week.
Still, the number of people who are treated in hospitals or stay in home-quarantine is the highest in Hungary. There is still not enough testing, and research has shown that the country reacted slowly to the epidemic, more so than other countries, like Poland or Slovakia. Besides, the mortality rate caused by the coronavirus is also the highest in the country.
11% of the patients infected die in Hungary.
Although many countries are easing the restrictions, more and more experts think that a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is unavoidable. To prevent this from happening, all governments across the world need to provide new restrictions after the current ones are eased and wait until the cure is ready for the disease.
Featured image: MTI/EPA/ANSA/Angelo Carconi