This is an overview of news from Slovakia that happened on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Do not forget to scroll down to discover our tips for interesting reads.
The Slovak Spectator team prepare the Today in Slovakia digests at the end of every weekday. If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, consider purchasing our online subscription. Thank you.
Will pupils wear masks at school?
To prevent children from spreading the coronavirus in schools, PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) has proposed that they should wear masks in classrooms during the first two weeks of school.
“The beginning of the school year will be the hardest test in our fight against COVID-19,” he wrote on Facebook.
At the same time, the government has turned down the August 11 proposal of the pandemic commission and Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) that pupils should show written confirmation that they have not been abroad with their parents for 14 days before school starts and that they should observe home isolation if they actually were on holiday abroad.
Meanwhile, a group of experts met to discuss the current situation on August 13.
Inflation is the slowest since October 2017
The year-on-year increase in consumer prices fell in July 2020 for the fifth month in a row. Prices grew by only 1.7 percent, the lowest value since October 2017, the Statistics Office informed.
It was moderated by groceries whose price has been reduced more than in previous summer seasons, according to Ľubomír Koršňák, analyst with UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia. He expects inflation to continue falling.
More coronavirus-related news
- The COVID-19 tests carried out on August 12, 2020 revealed 49 new cases. Some of them were confirmed in the Sládkovičovo-based Fekollini company that produces baguettes, which now reports 31 coronavirus-positive employees altogether.
- The new pandemic plan defines Slovak farmers as one of the most endangered groups. This means that they should be preferred for examinations and should have the right to use protective equipment at work. Also, vets, animal keepers and food industry staff should be more protected by the new pandemic plan.
- A Hungarian kindergarten in Galanta was closed after the parent of one child attending tested positive with COVID-19. The child will now be tested and if positive, all children and teachers will be tested, too. For now, they are all in quarantine, said Galanta Mayor Peter Paška.
In other news
- The Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Radovan Jurika, former mayor of Marianka (near Bratislava), to three years in prison conditionally. He was charged with 10 crimes but two were dismissed.
- Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová will examine whether legislation discriminates against children with health disabilities accessing education. She decided to do so after the Denník N daily published a story about a boy with Down's Syndrome who is struggling to be accepted by a secondary school. The ombudswoman explained that this may not be an exception, but a systemic problem.
- Firefighters and police chased a zebra in Piešťany after it was discovered between a block of flats. It ran away from the mini zoo. A vet tranquilized the zebra so it could not hurt or threaten anyone and returned the animal to its owner.
- Three Slovaks were imprisoned in Austria under the suspicion of smuggling at least 50 migrants. Police officers arrested two people in the Czech Republic and one in Slovakia. They were supposed to receive €1,000 from each migrant, gaining at least €50,000 in total.
- The Transport Ministry does not want the quality of the passenger railway transport between Bratislava and Komárno to worsen. That’s why it plans to prolong the existing contract with private carrier RegioJet, currently operating the route, which is due to expire at the end of 2020.
- A third case of African swine fever in domestic breeding concerns was uncovered in the village of Veľké Trakany in eastern Slovakia. 245 boars have been infected with African swine fever, while 14 outbreaks have been identified in home breeding concerns since July 2019.
13. Aug 2020 at 18:14 | Compiled by Spectator staff