UK and 30,000 Covid-19 deaths: V4 of Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia with few deaths
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The death toll from coronavirus (Covid-19) in the United Kingdom is shockingly high compared with the Visegrád Group (V4) of Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Indeed, the United Kingdom is the first nation to reach 30,000 deaths in Europe. Therefore, why is the death toll so different?
The population of the United Kingdom is approximately 66.5 million. This compares with the V4 combined total of roughly 64 million. Hence, the populations are compatible.
Yet, unlike the United Kingdom with over 30,000 deaths, the V4 nations have faired much better. Thus the current death toll is 262 in Czechia, 373 in Hungary, 733 in Poland, and 25 in Slovakia.
The V4 nations took the coronavirus threat seriously from the start. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “…perhaps you could take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population, without taking as many draconian measures.”
Yet Czechia declared a state of emergency before a single person died from coronavirus. Immediate measures include closing border crossings, the closure of schools, obligatory facemasks, and store closures if nonessential. Therefore, the death toll in Czechia is based on the quick response of this country.
Current statistics are 443 deaths per million in the United Kingdom, 24 in Czechia, 39 in Hungary, 19 in Poland, and 5 in Slovakia. Hence, the response of the United Kingdom – just like France, Italy, and Spain – needs questioning.
The failure of the United Kingdom applies to the slow response, neglecting the elderly in care homes, allowing air traffic from other infected nations, and no adequate quarantine measures. Also, the poor state of the National Health Service is witnessed by the high death rate.
The Governor of the Bank of Hungary, György Matolcsy, interestingly praised the nations of East Asia. He said, “East Asia has performed better than the advanced Western countries.”
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland was extremely worried in late March. He noted that Poland must escape the horrendous death toll of Italy and Spain.
Morawiecki uttered, “We want to avoid the fate of our friends in Western Europe at any price. We want to limit, flatten this (infections) curve to avoid situations that have happened in Spain and Italy.”
Slovakia, like other V4 nations, took quick measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This applies to the ban on international travel, banning religious and cultural events, closure of schools, closure of shops, and quarantine of 14 days for people returning to Slovakia. Therefore, V4 nations were heavily focused on preventative measures, unlike the UK.
In a past article about Czechia it was stated, “Not only was wider society protected but also the elderly haven’t faced the ravages of nursing home deaths. This is a far-cry from countless nursing home deaths in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.”
The article continued, “Nursing homes (home for seniors – Domov pro seniory) and more specialist nursing homes for people suffering from dementia and special needs (Domov se zvláštním režimem) have been protected to a much higher level. Therefore, the horrendous death toll of elderly citizens was avoided in Czechia.”
The current death toll of over 30,000 in the United Kingdom compared with 1,393 in V4 nations is enormous. The same applies to deaths per million in the United Kingdom being extremely high.
Similarly, unlike V4 nations that have protected the elderly, they were not prioritized in the United Kingdom. Therefore, while V4 nations are opening up, the United Kingdom is still beset by high care home deaths.
Of course, nothing can be taken for granted in the fight against coronavirus. Despite this, the slow response of the Boris Johnson government was shocking. Thus, certain nations can come out with credit and this applies to all V4 nations.
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