The example of the Czech Republic shows that no country can afford to rest on its laurels in the coronavirus epidemic. This is claimed by the Politico news server in an extensive article on how European governments are coping with the coronavirus pandemic. So far, Politico is considered to be the Nordic countries, the Baltics and Greece, and France and Spain have failed.
The Czechia was the first in Europe to introduce compulsory wearing of veils, close schools and part of shops. It was also the first to start easing restrictions on April 9. And that’s when the problem began, the server said.
According to him, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his government did not react quickly enough at the first signs of an increase in the spread of the disease in August. “Babiš ignored the warning signs and feared that the new restrictions would cause resentment among entrepreneurs. So he did nothing,” Politico writes about the situation in early September.
After the daily number of infected people exceeded the level that was last in the spring, the then Minister of Health tried to introduce the mandatory wearing of veils in shops. But Babiš vetoed the return to restrictions, recalls Politico.
The exchange rate was changed and the Minister of Health was replaced in the second half of September. “Maybe it’s too late,” adds Politico, pointing out that a third of all cases of the disease that the Czech Republic has registered since the beginning of the epidemic fall on this week.
Neighboring Germany and Austria are managing the epidemic well, even if these countries have made mistakes. The fact that health care in Germany is decided by the individual Länder makes it difficult for Chancellor Angela Merkel to implement national measures. Austria’s most visible mistake falls in the first wave, when the outbreak in the alpine resort of Ischgl failed.
There are quick measures along the way
According to the server, the premiants of the first and second waves are Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. Prompt action and efficient healthcare have made it possible to significantly reduce the spread of the disease. This has saved lives and mitigated the impact on the economy, says Politico. On the contrary, according to the server, Sweden’s policy has led to a significant number of people infected and a high number of deaths. The server also ranks the Baltic states and Greece among the countries that managed the first and second waves well.
Italy was the most deterrent in the first wave. However, using extraordinary powers, the government managed to flatten the disease curve faster than expected. Politico also credits the Italian prime minister with persuading Germany to support the European Reconstruction Fund.
Spain and France earned significantly negative ratings. Spain has not been able to control the growth of the disease during the summer season. Politico notes the disputes between the Spanish government and the local government over the introduction of a state of emergency in the Madrid area, where the disease is most prevalent.
According to Politica, the summer release is also behind the growth of cases in France. The server accuses French President Emmanuel Macron of failing to put in place effective and coherent health measures. “In March, Macron told the nation that he was at war with the virus. Now it looks like he is losing it,” writes Politico.
According to the server, Britain is one of the European countries where the first wave of the epidemic exposed the shortcomings of the government’s approach. “(British Prime Minister) Johnson has difficulty formulating a long-term strategy or a clear message from the public,” notes Politico. The British prime minister also has to face growing dissatisfaction in the Conservative Party, although the failures of the first wave of the epidemic have not yet had a significant effect on Conservative preferences.
We have a whole spectrum of patients of all ages on the ward, there are also adolescents, but there are more older ones, says Hynek Bartoš. | Video: Martin Veselovský