Slovakia was very successful in keeping the number of coronavirus deaths down during the first wave of infection in the spring, but the latest figures show a different picture.

The small central European country reported more than 2,000 new daily cases on Friday, representing one of the steepest infection curves in Europe.

So far, only 71 people have died since the start of the pandemic, and now the government is considering another tough lockdown to deal with the number of cases. The country’s case rate per 100,000 stood at 70 at the end of September, but the figure has now reached 244.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Czech Republic the health service is said to be in danger of collapse as it works to cope with the worst infection rate in Europe, at 586 new cases per 100,000. In addition, 4,000 medical staff have tested positive.

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face mask as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreads in the area around Roma settlements, in Krompachy, Slovakia April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa