TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

An app to notify people about the coronavirus patients around them (news digest)

The number of confirmed cases soared to nearly 100 on March 17. Jaguar Land Rover will temporarily stop its car production.

The Tesco distribution centre in Beckov, in the Trenčín Region, on March 17, 2020. The Tesco distribution centre in Beckov, in the Trenčín Region, on March 17, 2020. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on March 17.
For all the news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.

To read about the measures currently in place in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the election and post-election coverage.

Coronavirus in Slovakia updates

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has increased to 97 after 25 people were tested positive. A total of 1,816 samples were negative, the Health Ministry informed.
  • A group of doctors have developed the Zostaň Zdravý (Stay Healthy) application, which should notify people about patients infected with the coronavirus who are around them. It is currently pending approval and should be available for download soon. (Denník N)
  • Flight connections from China, South Korea, Italy and Iran to the Vienna International Airport are currently suspended. Flights from Spain, Switzerland, France, the UK, Ukraine, Russia and the Netherlands will be gradually stopped in the coming days, following the order of the Austrian government. Austrian Airlines will cease flight operations by March 28, 2020 and Laudamotion by April 8, 2020. Other airlines are currently reducing their flight schedules.
  • Hundreds of lorries got stuck near Bratislava after Hungary closed its borders, leaving only two border crossings open for lorries. The police stressed Bratislava is not on lock down. See a list of opened border crossings here.
  • The Interior Ministries of Slovakia and Hungary have agreed on the free movement of Slovaks who live or work in Hungary, but only for those who live no further than 30 kilometres from their mutual border. They will need to show their ID cards and confirmation from their employer. The same will apply to Hungarians living in Slovakia. The bilateral agreement will be valid from March 19, 2020.
  • The Corona Virus Info TV news channel has launched broadcasting information about the COVID-19 infection in Slovakia in its trial version. The Antik Telecom company plans to kick off the official broadcast this week. (TASR)
Two dressmakers sewed masks for fellow villagers Read more 
  • The Foreign Affairs Ministry knows about 2,000 Slovaks who want to return from abroad. Some are on their way back to Slovakia from Hungary, Slovenia and Germany. All of them will be placed in quarantine. (SME)
  • The Slovak Philharmonic has cancelled all its concerts and closed its ticket office. However, people can watch some concerts through Stream.filharmonia.sk.
  • The US Embassy in Bratislava reacted to misleading information on the planned Defender-Europe 20 exercises. It said that “all movement of personnel and equipment from the USA to Europe ceased as of March 13”.
  • The Hackvirus.sk initiative will collect the best IT ideas to tackle the coronavirus situation in Slovakia until March 20. During a virtual hackathon (March 21-23), experts will try to come up with IT solutions inspired by the submitted ideas. They will offer them to the Health Ministry on March 24 for free.
  • A patient suspected of the COVID-19 infection, which led to the quarantine of dozens of medical employees in the Bojnice hospital, has tested negative. (TASR)
  • The state postal services provider Slovenská Pošta will not accept any letters and packages for China, Italy or Mongolia. The provider has ceased to provide commercial services as well. (TASR)
  • Bratislava will lose tens of millions euros due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo, who called it an “absolute disaster”. (SME)

Discipline is our only vaccine.

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo

  • Volkswagen Slovakia suspended its operation in all three of its plants in the country for two weeks on March 17. Its employees will receive 60 percent of their average earnings.
  • Jaguar Land Rover will temporarily close its Slovak plant. Its last production day will be March 20. (MY Nitra)
  • A foreigner died in the Crystal hotel in Košice. He returned on January 12 from China, where he spent two months. The crew of the ambulance that arrived to the place is in quarantine. The tests should show whether he was infected with the coronavirus. (Aktuality.sk)

COALITION

  • Za Ľudí chair Andrej Kiska will give up his parliamentary seat but will remain the party chair. “A change has come, but I’ve got one health,” Slovakia’s former president wrote on Facebook. There have been reports that he has some health problems.
  • New ministers will not be cross-controlled by state secretaries nominated by the other coalition parties, as was a tradition in the past. The institute will be in place at only one ministry: the Labour Ministry, where Minister Milan Krajniak, nominated by Sme Rodina, will be checked by state secretary Jozef Mihál of SaS (Denník N).

OTHER NEWS

  • March 12 has been the hottest day of 2020 so far. The temperature rose to more than 22°C in some places,breaking the previous record of 20.3°C. (SHMÚ)
  • The Supreme Court has no president or deputy after Jarmila Urbancová, who served as the acting president, asked to be suspended. Urbancová, who was recently detained and later freed alongside other judges, dubbed as Kočner's judges, faces bribery charges. (Denník N)
  • The chair of the Bratislava V District Court, Dušan Srogončík, has asked for the suspension of the justice minister. He is one of the judges who was detained on March 10 within the Búrka operation, but later released. He still faces charges. (SITA)

More from The Slovak Spectator

Three pieces of good news from Slovakia and the Czech Republic about coronavirus Read more  Founding parliamentary session: Masks, gloves and disinfection Read more  State analysts: Coronavirus infections to peak in early summer Read more  Masks and gloves are being distributed to medical staff Read more 

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