Asylum numbers rise

THE NUMBER of people claiming asylum in Slovakia rose more than 6.5-fold in 2001 on the previous year.

According to statistics from the Slovak Migration Office 8,151 people claimed asylum in Slovakia, up from the 1,556 in 2000. More than half that number were refugees from Afghanistan.

Refugee status has been given to only 516 people since Slovakia became an independent state in 1993.

Slovakia has come under increasing pressure recently to improve security on its borders as the country approaches European Union membership.

The country has become a conduit for smugglers of illegal migrants from largely east Asian countries trying to reach the EU.

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Testing is impossible to carry out as planned, president says

President Zuzana Čaputová asked the government to reconsider measures for people who do not get tested, many will not get a chance.

President Zuzana Čaputová met with the representatives of the armed forces.

The big test is upon us. What are we to do?

For a foreigner living in Slovakia, there is yet another concern.

Health care professionals still lacking ahead of Saturday's testing

Government avoids mobilisation for now, PM offers an extra bonus to health care professionals who can serve the whole weekend.

Dolný Kubín

News digest: Who will take the swabs?

The government offers hundreds of euros to health care staff for testing. Curfew ends on Saturday for some. Take a look at testing sites and more.

PM Igor Matovič helped with testing in Tvrdošín.