TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Kuciak trial continued amid strict anti-coronavirus measures in Slovakia (news digest)

The COVID-19 death toll has reached six in Slovakia. An infectologist suggests opening kindergartens.

The Presidential Palace in Bratislava lit up with the colours of the Italian flag to show solidarity with Italy on April 15, 2020. The Presidential Palace in Bratislava lit up with the colours of the Italian flag to show solidarity with Italy on April 15, 2020. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from April 15.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the measures currently in place in Slovakia.

Coronavirus in Slovakia (statistics)

- On Wednesday, 28 of the 1,439 people tested were reported COVID-19 positive. 13 of them were people from the quarantined retirement home in Pezinok.

- Four more people died in Slovakia. The coronavirus death toll is thus six people as of April 14. Three of the dead people are from the retirement home in Pezinok, one patient died in the Trnava hospital.

- 38 people were reported as recovered on Wednesday, making it 151 people altogether.

- The National Centre of Health Information (NCZI) is no longer publishing the names of municipalities the infected persons are from. It only locates them in districts.

- A member of the armed forces from Nitra tested COVID-19 positive on Tuesday. He and his family are now in home quarantine. His health condition does not require hospitalisation. It is not clear how he got infected.

How Slovakia copes with the pandemic (measures)

- Slovakia should start considering opening kindergartens and the lower grades of primary schools, said infectologist and member of the permanent crisis staff Vladimír Krčméry before the session of the staff on Wednesday night. He said that this should be considered because many health care workers are currently forced to stay at home with their children and these people will be needed at work. PM Matovič said that there are other problems to deal with right now.

- Slovakia may not have anyone available to repair broken dental protheses. The Slovak Chamber of Dental Technicians has called on the prime minister and the health minister to provide protective tools and disinfectant for dental technicians who secure the necessary repairs of dental protheses that cannot be postponed. Most dental technicians have closed their labs due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and others are considering doing that too due to the lack of protection.

Economy and business news

- Slovakia's economy is expected to drop by 7.2 percent due to the pandemic this year, but a brisk revival is expected in a year's time. This stems from the Finance Ministry analysts' prognoses published on Wednesday.

- The biggest employer in the Spiš region, the Embraco Slovakia plant, halted its production.

- The Žilina-based Kia plant will suspend production between April 20 and 23 citing "serious operational reasons".

Kuciak murder trial

- The historic trial with the people who are charged with ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak continued at the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok on Wednesday. Documentary evidence and testimonies of witnesses from the investigation were read during the trial.

- The anti-pandemic measures affected the trial, which was in its initial stages attended by unprecedented numbers of local and foreign journalists. This time around, only selected media are let in, but the court allowed a live audio broadcast from the courtroom.

News from Slovak politics

- Vladimír Pčolinský, brother of Peter Pčolinský from the Sme Rodina party, was appointed the new head of the Slovak Information Service (SIS).

- PM Igor Matovič criticised Economy Minister Richard Sulík for his method of communication. Matovič and Sulík have clashed due to their differing opinions on whether to ease the anti-pandemic measures for businesses or not. (Sme)

- Sulík announced he will put his plans to start an economic council aside for now. The economy minister claims he does not want to compete with Matovič, who announced he is starting an economic crisis staff. (Sme)

- Audit of overpriced public procurements at the Office of the Deputy PM for Invesment and Informatisation has provided results, Deputy PM Veronika Remišová (Za Ľudí) informed. She said she was planning to scrap two tenders, one worth €15 million that she believes can be bought for €4 million, and that her predecessor allegedly only signed two days before the end of their term.

- President Zuzana Čaputová spoke on the phone with Pope Francis. She has invited the Pope to Slovakia, to which he said he will come when the situation allows it. Pope Francis advised people in Slovakia to be disciplined and not to lose hope.

Culture

- The Pohoda 2020 festival will not take place. This year's edition has been postponed to 2021 and all the tickets that have been purchased for it will remain valid.

Also on Spectator.sk today:

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