TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Slovakia receives medical supplies from China (news digest)

All four carmakers suspend production, and the outgoing government held its last session on March 19.

Plane delivers medical supplies from China.Plane delivers medical supplies from China. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on March 19.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
To read about the measures currently in place in Slovakia click here.

CORONAVIRUS IN SLOVAKIA UPDATES

  • There are currently 123 people positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in Slovakia. Although the number increased by 19, the number does not include the 84-year-old woman who died of a heart attack. Altogether 2,316 tests have been negative.
  • A plane with medical supplies from China landed in Bratislava, carrying 1 million masks and 100,000 coronavirus tests on board. Another plane from Turkey, which should bring respirators, is expected to arrive soon, said outgoing PM Peter Pellegrini.
  • The Foreign Affairs Ministry received altogether 2,500 applications from Slovaks who want to return from abroad. It will dispatch buses to Madrid and The Hague on the evening of March 19, while on March 20, a charter flight is scheduled to take off to London. If this option works, the ministry is ready to use charter flights next week to collect Slovaks from North and South America. Also several buses are expected to be dispatched to London on March 20. (SITA)
  • The National Health Information Centre has launched an interactive map containing information about the coronavirus disease.
  • The Zostaň Zdravý app developed by Slovak doctors is currently available on mobile phones using the Android operational systems. The version for Apple is pending approval. (SME)
  • All four carmakers in Slovakia will be closed, after Žilina-based Kia Motors Slovakia announced a temporary suspension of its production, starting on March 23. Also one of the biggest employers in the Považie Region, the Continental company, will be temporarily closed in two phases. It claims the reason is a drop in orders.
  • Several retail stores in Slovakia will enable preferential shopping for seniors. In Lidl and Kaufland, they will be able to do their shopping with higher priority from 13:00 to 14:30. Another retailer, Billa, recommends that seniors to do their shopping from 8:00 to 9:00, and asks other customers to choose different times. (TASR)
  • The post offices will remain closed during the weekend. The state-run postal operator Slovenská Pošta also modified conditions for mail that needs to be delivered directly to the recipient. It will only announce their arrival, and people will have to collect them from the post office. (TASR)
  • The American who died in the hotel in Košice was not positive with the coronavirus, tests confirmed. (TASR)
  • Virologists from the Institute of Virology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) have managed to isolate the first Slovak coronavirus strains.
  • The state has bought protective equipment for exaggerated prices, the Transparency International Slovensko ethics watchdog has warned. It started too late with the purchases of masks, respirators and disinfection, which contributed to the low transparency of purchases (SITA).
  • The state has signed a contract for the delivery of 47 new respiration machines. The four versions of artificial lung ventilation with accessories worth more than €1.1 million will be delivered by Chirana Medical from Stará Turá (Trenčín Region). (Denník N)
  • The state has banned the possibility of testing people who are willing to pay for it from their own pockets. The drive-through testing was presented to journalists by the Alpha Medical labs on March 18. (Denník N)
  • A visualisation by Ján Šicko will be screened on the National Bank of Slovakia building from March 20.

NEW GOVERNMENT

  • The Peter Pellegrini government met for its last session on March 19. Slovakia is facing the most critical situation since its establishment, Pellegrini said in his last speech as the prime minister. In his opinion, since the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, the country is back on track.
  • No other government has started its rule in such a difficult situation as the one that will be led by Igor Matovič, said President Zuzana Čaputová in a special address broadcast by private TV Markíza. The crisis we are currently facing is also an opportunity to show the best of us. The president believes we will defeat the virus.

Regardless of our political preferences, we share the same expectations at the moment: that the government of Igor Matovič will guide us through the hard days, that it can prepare our hospitals for the increased number of sick people and that it will propose measures to help us manage the economy and social consequences of the crisis.

President Zuzana Čaputová

OTHER NEWS

  • The Supreme Court did not agree with taking judge Zuzana Maruniaková, one of the so-called Kočner’s judges, into custody. Maruniaková has started collaborating, even though the prosecutor does not regard her testimony as a confession. (Denník N)
  • The prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office withdrew the complaint against the decision not to take former judge of the Bratislava I District Court Miriam Repáková into custody. Since she was stripped of her robe, there is no reason for custody, said spokesperson for the Special Prosecutor’s Office Jana Tökölyová. (SITA)
  • The disciplinary senate suspended the functions of the remaining two judges who were detained during the Búrka (Storm) police operation on March 10. (SITA)
  • The tax gap on VAT dropped to 17.5 percent last year, down from 20.3 percent in 2018, according to the Financial Administration.
  • In the times of epidemics, more than 78 percent of respondents in the recent AKO poll for the private TA3 news channel trust President Zuzana Čaputová. She is followed by outgoing PM Peter Pellegrini (74.2 percent) and designated PM Igor Matovič (63.5 percent). AKO carried out the poll between March 17 and 19 on 1,000 respondents.

Also in Spectator.sk today:

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