Central and Eastern Europe, unlike the western and southern parts of the continent, managed to limit the spread of the epidemic to such an extent that the first signs of loosening of restrictions appear on the horizon – British daily Financial Times wrote.
Shops, hotels, schools and even shopping centers are reopening. FT points out that while in Spain, Italy, France, or Great Britain, deaths caused by Covid-19 are counted in hundreds of people per million inhabitants, in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) they are at most tens, and in Slovakia only four people per million. Poland also boasts a low rate of 16 deaths per million inhabitants.
As FT writes, one of the reasons why countries in this region are doing so well is simply luck. Italy and Great Britain reported the first cases of coronavirus infection in January, and Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia just in March. This gave the governments of these countries valuable time to understand the threat and prepare for it.
"The virus came to Central Europe later, but they also used their time better," Olga Loblova, a researcher in public health at Cambridge University said.
Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic were among the first European countries that closed their borders and introduced other far-reaching restrictions on the everyday lives of citizens, including a ban on organizing mass events. This is one of the most important factors that have influenced the success in the fight against pandemics to date.