Volume XIX |

Containment and mitigation strategies during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic. A territorial approach in CCE countries

Abstract: The paper analysis the situation in CEE countries in terms of containment and mitigation strategies for the pandemic, but with a focus on the health systems and vulnerability factors (low scores for global health security index, understaffed health systems, higher shares of vulnerable people – obese persons, diabetic or those living in poor quality housing). As the new SARS-COV-2 spread throughout the world, Central and Eastern European governments rushed to preventive actions to reduce its spread, all the more considering that the first cases were imported from abroad (mainly from Italy). Public health measures carried out during the spring outbreak were effective, mainly due to the significant reduction in the contact rates and social distancing, which was partly voluntary, partly enforced. Thus, in early March, in person classes were suspended, persons returning from the areas with community spread of the virus were forced into quarantine, along with workplace closures, travel restrictions and shielding measures for individuals. In CEE countries, the lockdown, when enforced, preceded the curve of infections. There was little variation in the design and implementation of mitigation strategies, which were deployed very quickly, hence a much lower infection rate that did not pose additional strain on the health system.