KYJOV, Czech Republic — Soldiers in Poland are giving coronavirus tests. American National Guard troops with medical training are headed to the Czech Republic to work alongside doctors there. A Czech university student is running blood samples to labs, and the mayor of the capital is taking shifts at a hospital.
With cases surging in many central European countries, firefighters, students and retired doctors are being asked to help shore up buckling health care systems.
“This is actually terrifying,” Dr. Piotr Suwalski, the head of the cardiac surgery ward at a Polish hospital said on a day when daily COVID-19 cases rose 20 percent nationwide. “I think if we continue to gain 20 percent a day, no system can withstand it.”