TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

More retirement homes report patients positive with the coronavirus (news digest)

Coronavirus confirmed in 16 settlements with marginalised Roma communities, Kuciak murder trial continues. Read the overview of news from April 16.

Several medical workers from the Michalovce hospital tested positive for the coronavirus.Several medical workers from the Michalovce hospital tested positive for the coronavirus. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from April 16.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the measures currently in place in Slovakia.

Coronavirus in Slovakia (statistics)

- Slovakia has carried out the highest number of tests so far on April 15: 2,967. Of these, 114 people tested positively. The Health Ministry confirmed two more people have died of the coronavirus, increasing the number to eight. At the same time, altogether 167 people have recovered from the disease. See the detailed statistics here.

- Five members of the Slovak armed forces have been infected with the coronavirus, Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) confirmed. Of them, four are professional soldiers and one is a civilian.

- COVID-19 has been confirmed in 16 settlements with marginalised Roma communities. In Žehra (Prešov Košice Region), an uncontrolled community spread of the coronavirus has been confirmed, with 51 people having tested positive. The government is now searching for a plan of how to tackle this problem, PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) has confirmed. “We’ve created working groups to come up with solutions by tomorrow,” he added.

- Several medical workers from the hospitals in Michalovce and Rožňava (Košice Region) tested positive for the coronavirus. In Michalovce, it was three employees of the radiology ward, in Rožňava, five employees who are all in home quarantine. (TASR, Noviny.sk)

- The retirement home in Spišské Bystré (Prešov Region) confirmed one of their clients tested positive for the coronavirus. The man in his 90s has been hospitalized in the Prešov hospital. The disease has been confirmed also in the retirement home in Martin, the TA3 news channel reported. The patient has been hospitalised. (TASR, TA3)

Coronavirus updates from Slovakia

- Bratislava Region’s Governor Juraj Droba has recalled the head of the retirement home in Pezinok Viola Schmidtová. The investigation has reportedly revealed new facts that disqualified her from the post. (SITA)

- The Faculty Hospital with Policlinics in Žilina opened a new mobile sampling site to test the coronavirus in collaboration with the Klinická Biochémia company. The site will be open on weekdays from 8:00 to 12:30.

- The Administration of State Material Reserves signed four new agreements on the delivery of medical equipment at the beginning of the week. The prices of masks, respirators, gloves and disinfectants oscillate around the lower limits of previous purchases.

- The authorities do not recommend people purchase self-tests for COVID-19. There have been various tests to diagnose the disease via the detection of the antibodies, offered on the internet.

- Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) said Slovakia should follow the EU line in the fight against the coronavirus. He informed about the travelling map, a recent initiative of the EU, and the planned meeting of EU prime ministers, foreign affairs ministers and finance ministers scheduled for next week.

It’s no dictate; it’s an opportunity to sit behind one table and search for solutions for our citizens, which is the most important thing now.

Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok

Measures to tackle COVID-19 in Slovakia

- The national emergency will also be applied to outpatient doctors, general practitioners and specialists, from Saturday, April 18. This stems from the draft law approved by the government on April 16. The national emergency has already been declared for state hospitals (March 16) and other subjects active in health-care sector (March 19). (TASR)

- The testing of a potential online form of entrance and final exam held by secondary schools has been successful, said Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS). “A teacher was sitting in front of the computer and had three pupils on his/her monitor,” he described the test. “They were assigning questions, and the time was set in a way that the pupils could not search for answers online.” The ministry is now dealing with cases where pupils do not have any internet connection.

- Entrance exams to universities have been postponed for now, Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) said after making a deal with the Slovak Rectors’ Conference.

- Bratislava opened a quarantine city for homeless people in Zlaté Piesky. There are some 4,000 people without a home in the capital, the statistics suggest. No homeless person has been infected with the coronavirus for now, said Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo.

Coronavirus measures in business

- Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) introduced investment aid for companies which should generate 420 new jobs. The state will target the investment aid to less developed regions and in the form of tax reliefs. Direct subsidies on salaries and the purchase of investment property will be an exception.

- Employers and the self-employed should have their premium payments for April forgiven. This stems from the draft law on social insurance approved by the government. The draft still needs to be approved by the parliament.

- Škoda Auto Slovensko published an online call searching for organisations that need cars to fight the coronavirus. It follows the existing collaboration with several organisations in the Bratislava, Banská Bystrica and Žilina Regions to which it has already given 13 vehicles.

Other news from Slovakia

- The trial of the people charged with the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak continued on April 16 with the reading of the documentary evidence. The proceedings will continue in late April.

- The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) detained seven more people suspected of corruption within its Dobytkár (Stock Farmer) operation. The action was part of the investigation concerning the Agricultural Payment Agency.

- The parliament will adopt the programme of Igor Matovič's (OĽaNO) government next Monday. The representatives of OĽaNO want to decrease the quorum for accepting referendum results, but the idea is opposed by Za Ľudí and SaS.

- Four people will run for the post of the chair of the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok. This includes incumbent Michal Truban, and judges Ján Buvala, Ján Hrubala and Igor Králik. The term of the current chair ends on June 10.

Business news

- The Moody’s rating agency changed the outlook for Slovakia’s banking sector from positive to negative. It said that the coronavirus consequences may worsen the high debts of households and the dependence on export.

- Project companies expect their economic results to worsen by 32 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic. The companies are struggling when signing new orders, obtaining documents for ongoing projects and securing their financial operations. This stems from the half-year analysis of Slovak construction sector by CEEC Research and Považská Cementáreň Ladce company.

Also on Spectator.sk today:

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