TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Two patients recover from coronavirus (news digest)

Piešťany spa will be closed from April, while Lidl sends its elderly employees home. Read the overview of news from March 26.

l-r: PM Igor Matovič, Health Minister Marek Krajčí and Róbert Mistríkl-r: PM Igor Matovič, Health Minister Marek Krajčí and Róbert Mistrík (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on March 26.
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 officially two patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 virus, said Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO). Patients are considered cured if, after being released from hospital, they spend the following two weeks in home quarantine and two subsequent tests are negative.
  • Private labs will be involved in testing samples for the coronavirus. PM Igor Matovič expects that thanks to them, the daily capacity of testing will increase to 3,000. At the same time, sampling sites should be established in front of all hospitals.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová signed the draft bill on some extraordinary measures in connection with stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease and justice. The Public Health Authority will be able to obtain data from mobile providers, apart from the content of text messages. The changes also suggest that the public will be excluded from court proceedings due to the potential threat to health, but the courts will be required to make and publish a voice recording. The law will also change the dismissal process for Judicial Council members.
  • PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) has rejected the demands of some employers for extensive and across-the-board help for companies and their employees impacted by the measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. The government, together with experts from the Council for Budget Responsibility and the Finance Ministry, are searching for targeted measures to help companies that should be introduced in two or three days. (TASR)

We'll come up with the solutions, but they'll be responsible.

PM Igor Matovič after metting with the representatives of medical labs

  • NATO flight delivered 48 tonnes of medical material like masks, protective clothes and gloves to Slovakia on March 25, the US Embassy in Slovakia informed. The plane then continued to Bucharest with another 45 tonnes of medical materials. (Facebook)

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  • Quarantine centres in the High Tatras are full. They accommodate 194 Slovaks who came from Germany and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the secondary vocational school of the Police Corps in Pezinok has become one of the temporary quarantine centres for repatriated Slovaks. More than 80 people who have arrived from other EU countries, but also the Philippines and Cambodia have been placed there. The Foreign Affairs Ministry is also considering using the Interior Ministry’s fleet to transport Slovaks from abroad. They will have to pay for the flight though. (SME)
  • A mandatory 14-day quarantine will also apply to Slovaks working in Poland from Friday, March 27, the Foreign Affairs Ministry informed on its website. Until April 13, it will be possible to cross Slovak-Polish borders via two road crossings: Barwinek – Vyšný Komárnik and Chyžné – Trstená. At the same time, people could use the Czech Republic as a transit country when returning from abroad, according to a decision by the Czech government. (SME)
  • The Piešťany spa will close all of its branches by the end of March. They are currently working under a restricted regime, but there will be no clients after April 1. The spa will not dismiss any staff. (SME)
  • Lidl has enabled any of its staff aged 65 years and older to stay at home, receiving 100 percent of their average earnings. With such a step, it wants to protect them from the risk of being infected. (Facebook)
  • The revenues of the state-run railway passenger carrier ZSSK dropped by more than 80 percent. Also the railway freight carrier Cargo reported a decrease in its revenues by about 10 percent compared with original plans.
  • The coronavirus outbreak has dramatically increased the interest of Slovaks in news from serious media. Also tabloids and lifestyle magazines that inform about the pandemic fare well. On the other hand, websites spreading fake news and hoaxes have not increased in popularity. (Denník N)
  • The 73rd edition of the oldest athletic event in Slovakia, National Run Devín – Bratislava, will not take place on April 19. Its organisers plan to inform about further steps soon.
  • Slovaks are taking the coronavirus seriously. As many as 75 percent of people are afraid that they could be infected, with 38 percent having serious concerns. This stems from the poll carried out by Go4insight between March 17 and 25 on 1,000 respondents aged 15-79. On the other hand, about 22 percent have moderate concerns, and 3 percent are not afraid at all. (SITA)

OTHER NEWS FROM SLOVAKIA

  • Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok has arrived in Slovakia, SaS informed on Facebook. He will now have to spend two weeks in home quarantine.
  • PM Igor Matovič still has not given the coalition agreement to the MPs for signature. He originally planned to do so this week, and then publish the document. It is possible that MPs will receive the agreement and programme priorities next week, said Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina). (TASR)
  • More than one half of entrepreneurs say that if the current restrictions last more than one month, their existence will be threatened, according to the survey of the Business Alliance of Slovakia. Most companies have already used their reserves, and they also had to limit investments and the purchase of basic goods and services.
  • The News and Media Holding publishing house started dismissing people. The Trend economic weekly will lay off eight people, including the current deputy editor-in-chief. The official reason is the drop in the incomes from advertisement due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting efforts to cut expenses. (Omediach.com)
  • Bratislava will reconstruct the Ondrej Nepela Winter Stadium for more than €1 million. (SITA)
  • More than 4.6 million items of durable groceries have been sold in Slovakia via the Mall e-shop in the past three weeks. This is three times more than in the Czech Republic. The reason is the absence of big players in the online sale of groceries on the Slovak market. (TASR)

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