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- Slovakia has 11 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total number to 72. The new cases were confirmed in the districts of Trnava (1 case), Trenčín (1 case), Pezinok (1 case), Svidník (2 cases), Prešov (1 case), Košice (2 cases), Rožňava (1 case), Liptovský Mikuláš (1 case), and Sobrance (1 case). PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) announced that 1,523 samples tested were negative. He also said that none of the patients need a ventilation system, and that many are in home care.
- The central crisis staff updated the measures adopted by the government on March 15. This includes:
- The recommendation to extend the national emergency to the whole health care sector. This means that it will apply to not only state-owned, but also private facilities and operations.
- Laundry rooms and dry cleaners, as well as car repair shops, tyre services and towing services can be opened as of March 17. Moreover, taxi services will be allowed to work, but only to transport goods and products (like food), not people.
- The crisis staff formally adopted the closure of borders with Poland. At the same time, the country will continue bilateral talks with Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic to solve the situation of people living in the border areas who travel abroad for work.
- The crisis staff will recommend all public transport operators and the owners of public buildings and shops allow entrance only to people wearing some protective equipment that covers their face, i.e. masks or scarfs.
- The state will not limit the movement of people in Slovakia for now. However, it will monitor the situation and is ready to change it if it finds out that people do not stay at home and uncontrollably move across the country. In this respect, Pellegrini should ask the telecom operators to provide data about the movement of people using mobile phones.
- The Interior Ministry in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Ministry are working on the delivery of protective equipment from Turkey.
- Pellegrini announced that 992 Slovaks living abroad have already inquired about returning to their homeland. The state will come up with a plan for their return to Slovakia.
- Police, security guards and the army should patrol around post offices when social benefits are paid later this week. They will help ensure the public is observing basic hygienic rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
16. Mar 2020 at 18:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff