Number of people tested goes up, state labs are reaching full capacity (news digest)

Testing of people from settlements has started. Read your overview of news from Slovakia from April 3.

Finance Minister Eduard Heger announces aid for self-employed and small and medium businesses - postponed loan payments. Finance Minister Eduard Heger announces aid for self-employed and small and medium businesses - postponed loan payments. (Source: Sme - Marko Erd)

This is your overview of news from April 2.
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 24 new cases as of April 3, see full statistics here. On Thursday, 1,454 people have been tested. Private laboratories are now testing too, they have so far tested 909 people.

We are reaching the maximum capacity the state laboratories are capable of.

Chief hygienist Ján Mikas on April 3

- Chief hygienist Ján Mikas said ahead of the session of the crisis staff that the capacity of the state laboratories is 1,200 to 1,300 samples a day. Private laboraties are welcome to add to these numbers, but they need to provide their own sampling devices, testing point, sets, and so on. This is how capacity can be increased, Mikas said. (Sme)

- The daily capacity for testing coronavirus in private labs is around 1,500 tests as of Friday but may double over the next week, said the head of the AsLab association of laboratories Vladimír Ježík. (TASR)

- Three people have recovered from Covid-19, increasing the number for Slovakia to eight.

- On the weekend of April 3–5, the Hack the Crisis movement also comes to Slovakia. Hack the Crisis is a 48 hour virtual hackathon during which dozens of teams will work remotely on various challenges affecting our societies. Everybody who wants to contribute to innovative solutions to counter the crisis is welcome to join.

- President Zuzana Čaputová met with the members of the crisis staff on Friday.

How Slovakia is coping with the coronavirus (measures)

- The crisis staff met on Friday afternoon to discuss potential special measures for the upcoming Easter holidays. The festive days are seen to be riskier for spreading the virus, since people are used to visiting their relatives and friends. The Slovak Spectator will report on the outcome of the meeting as soon as it is available.

- School canteens are now allowed to cook take away food for seniors and socially disadvantaged children, under strict hygienic measures. The Public Health Office issued the measure on Friday.

- State-organised transfer of citizens to and from the UK will take place this Sunday. The plane will fly from Bratislava to London at 14:45 and will return with Slovak citizens, taking off from London Stansted at 18:00. (Foreign Ministry)

Related articleCoronavirus puts spotlight on neglected Roma communities Read more 

- The state, with the assistance of the armed forces, has started testing people from excluded Roma settlements on Friday afternoon in the eastern-Slovak village of Jarovnice. The first persons tested were those who had returned from abroad, mainly the Czech Republic, Germany, and the UK. The testing will continue in more of the selected settlements on Saturday.

- The Penta financial group has brought health care material worth €5 million to Slovakia. Most of it will be distributed in its own hospitals and pharmacies, but they have also donated some to public hospitals. The delivery contains some six million masks, shields and suits, FFP2 respirators, vitamins and food supplements.


- The government has confirmed banks will allow individual clients and small and medium companies to postpone paying loan installments for up to nine months. The people who delay their payments will not be entered on any blacklist of non-payers. PM Matovič said the banks did not ask for anything in return, but did not say whether the special bank levy will be scrapped.

- The limit for contactless payments will be raised from €20 to €50.

Foreign policy

- Former foreign affairs minister Miroslav Lajčák was appointed the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. Lajčák’s primary diplomatic focus is in the Balkans.

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