Government sets up a permanent crisis staff for coronavirus situation (news digest)

Volkswagen Slovakia will prolong the suspension of its production, while Schaeffler Kysuce sent its employees on corporate holiday. Read the overview of news from March 23.

PM Igor Matovič and the members of the permanent crisis staff Peter Škodný, Robert Mistrík, Peter Visolajský and Vladimír Krčméry.PM Igor Matovič and the members of the permanent crisis staff Peter Škodný, Robert Mistrík, Peter Visolajský and Vladimír Krčméry. (Source: SME)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on March 23.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
To read about the measures currently in place in Slovakia click here.
For your overview of last week's events, read Last Week in Slovakia.


  • The government has established a permanent crisis staff that should assess the information and coordinate the actions of various ministries in order to adopt the best measures to prevent the coronavirus disease from spreading. Its part will be the team of experts including expert on tropical medicine and infections, Vladimír Krčméry, biochemistry expert and ex-presidential candidate Robert Mistrík, chair of the Medical Trade Unions organization Peter Visolajský, and ICT manager Peter Škodný.

    The right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. We need to make it right.

    PM Igor Matovič

  • PM Igor Matovič wants to increase the number of tests in Slovakia tenfold to 3,000 tests a day. Even if all public and private labs joined forces, the number of tests would be 1,000 lower than the plan. Slovakia currently tests much less than its neighbours. (SME)
  • The first patient positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease was confirmed in a Bratislava prison. He was moved to the prison hospital in Trenčín. (TASR)
  • The test results of three doctors and four nurses working at the National Oncology Institute were negative. All of them were in contact with a person positive with the coronavirus disease. The test results of another patient who was at the same room as the positively diagnosed person were negative. (SME)
  • Althogether 3,009 Slovaks living abroad have asked for repatriation so far. As many as 1,059 Slovaks have returned via state-organised help, while more than 400 returned on their own. Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok, nominated by Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), is supposed to return on March 24.
  • Volkswagen Slovakia will prolong the suspension of production in its plants in Bratislava, Martin and Stupava through April 5 due to the current coronavirus situation.
  • CEO of the Schaeffler Kysuce plant ordered a corporate holiday for its entire staff due to the current situation. The company will be closed from April 6, 2020. (
  • Slovakia can use €4 billion from EU funds that are still not withdrawn to mitigate the negative impacts of the coronavirus disease, said Investments Minister Veronika Remišová (Za Ľudí). She also wants to audit the current calls and move the money to areas where it will be spent more efficiently.
  • The J&T group brought the first consignment of protective equipment for medical staff from China. Part of supplies worth €8 million in total, which the J&T and EPH group allocated to fight the coronavirus (€4 million for the Czech Republic and €4 million for Slovakia). About 1 million masks were on board for the first plane. Other planes from China are expected in the coming days. The companies ordered and paid for 2 million respirators, 50,000 protective clothes, 50,000 gloves, 50,000 protective glasses, and 50,000 testing kits. (SME)
  • Trenčín will become a new location where coronavirus tests will be carried out from March 25. Currently, the tests are carried out in Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, and Košice. (TASR)
  • The state-run postal services operator Slovenská Pošta will change its opening hours between March 24 and April 5. In towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants, it will be open until 16:00 on weekdays, while at least one post office will have to be open until 17:00 once a week. The post offices will remain closed during weekends. (SME)


  • Ex-state secretary Monika Jankovská, judges Eugen Palášthy, Denisa Cviková and Richard Molnár, as well as attorney Miroslav Mojto will remain in custody. This stems from the Supreme Court decision adopted on March 20.
  • Incumbent head of the Military Intelligence agency Ján Balciar has asked for dismissal from the post, Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) has confirmed. Balciar reportedly said he is tired and wants to end on March 31. (SME)
  • Chair of the far-right Kotlebovci - People’s Party Our Slovakia Marian Kotleba faces criminal prosecution for linking the coronavirus with refugees. The criminal complaint was submitted by the Human Rights Institute non-governmental organisation. (SITA)
  • About one-third of people are satisfied with the parliamentary election results, while another third is dissatisfied, according to the latest Focus poll carried out in mid-March on 1,013 respondents.

Also in today:

Related articleLatest coronavirus updates: A positive gynaecologist and limited regime at Foreigners' Police Read more 

Related articleMatovič criticises COVID-19 tests. Head of the material reserves will be dismissed Read more 

Related articlePeople like being smart. In banking and insurance too Read more 

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