TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

Situation improves, easing measures further discussed (news digest)

Testing of seniors started in several places, some positive cases appeared in nursing homes.

Zemplínska Šírava in the far east of Slovakia. Zemplínska Šírava in the far east of Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from April 24.
For all news about the coronavirus in Slovakia click here.
Read more about the measures currently in place in Slovakia.

Coronavirus in Slovakia (stats)

- 35 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths were reported in Slovakia after Thursday, April 23. Check out the detailed statistics here.

- Inhabitants of Slovakia have helped significantly slow down the spreading of the coronavirus in the country. The third updated prognosis of the Institute for Health Policy predicts some 5,500 people will be infected at the peak of the epidemic in mid-September. Read more about the prognosis here.

- Zvolen hospital launched COVID-19 testing on demand. One test is €65.

- The testing of clients and staff of social care homes was launched in Bratislava.

- A staffer from a Sereď retirement home tested positive on Thursday. All 111 clients and 46 staffers of the facility were subsequently tested; results are pending.

- A client of the Veľká Lomnica retirement home tested positive. She has recently been to the Poprad hospital to undergo chemotherapy. The facility currently has 43 clients.

How Slovakia copes with the coronavirus (measures)

- Seniors can also shop outside the reserved times between 9:00 and 11:00. The chief hygienist reconsidered the ban on seniors shopping outside of the reserved hours, which meant, among other complications, that they would not be able to shop during the weekend. The ban earned a lot of criticism, including from Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová and from opposition MP Peter Pellegrini. The authorities say they received complaints from working seniors. Chief Hygienist Ján Mikas still encourages pensioners to make use of the reserved time.

- The unlocking of the economy could differ from district to district, PM Igor Matovič said after meeting with the crisis staff of economists.

- President Zuzana Čaputová has signed several bills passed by parliament to cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 situation on Slovakia's economy into law. Businesses negatively affected by the pandemic will be able to request temporary protection. Companies and individuals will be able to postpone paying rent. Income tax advance payments will be postponed for entrepreneurs whose income dropped by at least 40 percent. (Office of the President)

- Athletes can train at outdoor sports grounds without masks, the Education Ministry announced. (Sme)

- Claims that emergency medical staff should manage with 75 percent of their usual income are unacceptable to doctors. Members of the Slovak Society of Primary Pediatric Care wrote an open letter to the three top constitutional officials. (Sme)

- A new initiative has emerged to help small businesses and service providers who cannot work due to the coronavirus. The Pridemneskor.sk project (Be Back Soon) allows them to sell vouchers for their services to be picked up after the measures are lifted.

Business in the time of the coronavirus

- the Haneken Melts company based in the municipality of Spišské Vlachy in northeast Slovakia will halt production due to the coronacrisis. The production lines will be suspended from mid-May until the end of June. The decision is due to the dropped orders from clients, mostly in the automotive industry. (TASR)

- Kia Motors Slovakia re-launched two-shift production on Friday. The plant stood still between April 20 and 23 due to technical difficulties.

- Disinfectants made in Slovakia (namely in Liptovský Mikuláš, Trnava, Leopoldov, and Odorín) can now be exported abroad, under the condition that all domestic orders are met. (Sme)

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