PRAGUE (Sputnik) - Police have closed Slovakia’s western city of Nitra for non-residents on Tuesday to rein in surging COVID-19 cases that have put local hospitals on the brink, Mayor Marek Hattas told reporters.
"The situation in city hospitals is critical due to the growing number of new coronavirus patients. We are forced to send new patients to hospitals in neighboring cities and towns — in Bratislava, Komarno, Topolcany, Martin and Banska Bystrica. A freezer has been built near the crematorium for temporary storage of bodies of those dead. We have also asked the central crisis center to consider introducing a full lockdown in our city," Hattas said.
He added that the lockdown would also entail temporary closure of all production facilities, including the Jaguar Land Rover plant. At the moment, industrial enterprises continue operations, and the movement of people in the 80,000-strong city remains very large, thus increasing virus transmission, according to the mayor.
"For now, we have introduced police control at the entrances to the city, non-residents will be allowed only with special permits," the mayor added.
The Central European country has recorded 2,989 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. In total, Slovakia has registered over 191,100 infections, including nearly 133,000 recoveries and 2,603 deaths. On Monday evening, the country confirmed first coronavirus cases associated with the faster-spreading strain from the United Kingdom.