PM wants Slovakia to be an island of hope for Europe, carmakers prolong halt (news digest)

Read your overview of news about the coronavirus in Slovakia and other news from politics and business on April 1.

Bratislava on April 1, 2020. Bratislava on April 1, 2020. (Source: Sme - Marko Erd)

This is your overview of news from April 1.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the measures currently in place in Slovakia.

Coronavirus in Slovakia (updates)

- Slovakia has 37 new confirmed cases as of April 1, see full statistics here.

- The Medical Faculty of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice lent seven respiration machines which can be adjusted for Covid-19 patients. The machines have been used for research so far. (TASR)

- Prisoners are now making not just face masks but also protection shields for health care staff. The shields are now made in Hrnčiarovce nad Parnou, Košice - Šaca and Banská Bystrica. (TASR)

How Slovakia is coping with COVID-19 (measures)

- After Tuesday's acclaim for the effectiveness of the measures currently in place, PM Igor Matovič floated the idea of a nationwide blackout "to kill the virus". Read more about what that would mean.

"We would be a little island of hope for the whole Europe. It is a dream of mine. There is nothing better we can do in Slovakia."

PM Igor Matovič pondering the blackout

- PM Matovič also announced what he called a mutual help fund. He will contribute his whole prime-ministerial salary, while other ministers and MPs are encouraged to make their contributions too.

- Primary schools will organise the enrollment of future first-graders between April 15 and 30. Children and parents will not attend in person, electronic communication is encouraged. (Education Ministry)

Related articleCoronavirus might prompt a reform Slovakia's schools have needed for a long time Read more 

- Testing in excluded Roma settlements will be launched on Friday, as part of the government's plan to fight the coronavirus in the marginalised communities. PM Matovič stated the infection factor in the settlements, due to the low hygienic standards, is 20 (one positive person infects 20 more).

Related story:Coronavirus puts spotlight on neglected Roma communitiesRead more 

- 200 people who were brought home through the state repatriation efforts will be quarantined in a student dormitory in Košice. (TASR)

- Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová called on Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) to look at the violation of the rights of women who are giving birth during the pandemic. Reports from NGOs and media show that some hospitals have limited the rights of women to have an accompanying person with them during childbirth. (Sme)

Economy and business news from Slovakia

- The Economy Ministry has temporarily suspended the state grants for e-cars, citing the pandemic as the reason. (Sme)

- U.S. Steel Košice management as agreed with the labour unions to prolong their collective agreement by 30 days, "to give the company the time need to prepare for the challenges that are ahead", the company spokesperson Ján Bača said. (TASR)

- Temporary halt in production at the three Volkswagen plants in Slovakia will continue until April 19. The company has informed in its press release that this is a reaction to the dropping demand and the limitations in the supplier network. They will announce the re-start of the production in time.

- Jaguar Land Rover's production will remain suspended until after Easter. Only selected teams working on the production of the Land Rover Defender are currently working in the company plant in Nitra.

- The Aeolus travel agency has started bankruptcy proceedings.

In other news from Slovakia

- Smer MP Ľuboš Blaha and ĽSNS MP Marian Kotleba failed to get elected for heads of parliamentary committees again.

- The trial with Marian Kotleba regarding the controversial cheques he gave away will take place on April 15. The original trial date was postponed due to the pandemic.

- The trial with Alena Zsuzsová, also charged with ordering the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, has started in another case - the murder of Hurbanovo mayor László Basternák.

- The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) raided more places on April 1 over suspicions of fraud at the Agricultural Payment Agency (PPA), the police wrote on their Facebook page.

Also on today:

Related articleFormer military premises in Bratislava forests open to public Read more  Related articleJobs of over 1.1 million automobile workers in the EU affected so far Read more  Related article19 judges left the Supreme Court and other courts Read more 

Related articleDisinfectant for pensioners made from beer Read more 

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