This is your overview of news from Monday, July 27, 2020. Read all you need to know about events that happened in Slovakia today in less than 5 minutes, and make sure to scroll down for some tips you can find on our website. For weekly overview news, see our Last Week in Slovakia overview published earlier today.
If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, please consider buying our online subscription.
Most imported cases are from Ukraine
Nearly one-half of coronavirus cases added to the statistics between June 29 and July 21, 2020, were imported from abroad. Most of those who tested positive came from Ukraine, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and the UK.
Meanwhile, more men than women across various age groups tested positive, a recent analysis carried out by the regional branch of the Public Health Authority suggests.
The most cases in the past few days have been identified in the Prešov and Sabinov districts in eastern Slovakia, as well as the Prievidza district in Trenčín Region.
Read more detailed coronavirus-related statistics here.
Government wants to establish state software house
The government wants to create a Košice-based IT company to work for the needs of the state.
The aim of the state software house is to save money, fundamentally improve services for people and clean up the informatisation of corruption, according to the plan unveiled by PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and Investments, Regional Development and Informatisation Minister Veronika Remišová (Za Ľudí) on July 24 in Košice.
The two also met with the employees of the IT company WireCard Slovakia, which got into trouble after its Munich-based parent company Wirecard declared insolvency in June and asked the court for protection from creditors. They offered roughly 300 employees of the Košice-based company a transition to state services. While their reactions were optimistic, the state IT company could further increase the number of experts in its ranks, Matovič specified.
Charter season kicks off
The 2020 charter season started nearly two months later than last year due to the coronavirus pandemic that grounded regular civilian and charter flights between mid-March and June.
The Bratislava airport plans to dispatch only 308 charter flights in the current summer season, which is 87 percent less than last year. In the 2019 season, altogether 3,245 flights were dispatched, the SITA newswire reported.
In other news
- Hlohovec Mayor and MP Miroslav Kollár will run for the post of Za Ľudí chair, he confirmed in an interview with the Denník N daily. He will compete with Investment Minister Veronika Remišová, the only person who has already confirmed her candidacy. The incumbent chair, ex-president Andrej Kiska, will not run.
- Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating agency has kept Slovakia’s rating at A+ but has worsened its outlook from stable to negative. The recent evaluation realistically reflects the economic situation in Slovakia, impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Ministry said.
- The final thesis of PM Igor Matovič does not meet the criteria for a master’s thesis, and it also failed to meet the criteria back in 1998, Comenius University in Bratislava and its Faculty of Management, which granted the degree to the Prime Minister, agreed at a July 27 meeting. “The university considers the topic closed,” it said.
- The Defence Ministry has submitted new conditions for procuring the 3D radars. The ministry claims they are more transparent than the ones defined by the previous management that originally launched the tender. They also contain a condition for the local defence ministry to take part. Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) reportedly received several official international complaints. (TASR, Pravda)
- Zuzana Brixová, former head of the legal department at the Slovak Bishops’ Conference (KBS), will become the new head of the gender equality department at the Labour Ministry, taking the post on August 1. Her predecessor Oľga Pietruchová is critical of the choice. “There are people who understand the topic, have respective education and experience from working in the state administration,” she said, as quoted by the Denník N daily. “I thought they would keep some decorum and not hand the department to the hands of the Catholic Church.”
- The state-run health insurer Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (VšZP) has come up with a new diagnostics tool that should help distinguish between the flu and the novel coronavirus. Its results should suggest whether a patient with respiratory problems, symptoms similar to flu and a higher body temperature is suffering from COVID-19 or regular flu. The new diagnostics will be carried out in every lab that currently uses the RT-PCR method.
- The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) issued a second-level warning against high temperatures for several districts in Bratislava Region, Trnava Region and Nitra Region, and a first-level warning for selected districts in Trenčín Region and Banská Bystrica Region that will be in place on July 28, also between 13:00 and 18:00. It also issued first-level warning against thunderstorms for the entire Bratislava Region and selected districts in the remaining regions, except for Košice Region, which will be in place from 21:00 on July 28 to 3:00 on July 29.
- The National Transfusion Service calls on people to donate blood. It is now possible to come without booking in advance. However, those with a booked date and time will be given preference.
- The African swine fever has spread to another district. Apart from Trebišov, Michalovce, Košice-okolie, Košice-mesto and Rožňava, new cases were diagnosed in the district of Rimavská Sobota (Banská Bystrica Region). Currently, there are 221 wild boars infected with the African swine fever.
Also on Spectator.sk today:
27. Jul 2020 at 17:51 | Compiled by Spectator staff