TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: No community spread so far, hygienists say

Check out the overview of news from Slovakia for Monday.

Testing of seniors started in Bratislava Ružinov. Testing of seniors started in Bratislava Ružinov. (Source: TASR)

Read our overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Monday, August 24, 2020. Be sure to check also our tips for interesting reads that you find at the end of this digest.
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Belarusian ambassador leaves Slovakia

The decision of the Belarusian ambassador to Slovakia to support the protesters in his homeland has incurred great respect in Slovakia and abroad, according to the Slovak foreign affairs minister.

“His story also confirms that diplomats are involved in border situations that make it impossible for them to continue representing their own country,” Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) said after meeting departing Ambassador Igor Alexandrovich Leshchenya on August 24, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The Belarusian ambassador was quite vague about his future, only saying that he will cross the border tomorrow. He is ready for intimidation attempts by the Belarusian authorities, referring to the fact that they came up with various fabricated accusations against critics of the regime in the past.

Eustream has paid the most on corporate taxes

The Slovak pipeline operator Eustream paid the most on corporate taxes for 2019, followed by the SPP Distribúcia gas distribution company and the Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia.

As stems from a recent analysis published by the FinStat company, the three companies paid altogether €2.256 billion to the state budget by August 20, which is €400 million less than last year.

No community spread confirmed so far

August 23 testing revealed 68 new coronavirus cases in Slovakia, increasing the total number to 3,424. With 33 deaths and 2,153 recovered patients, the authorities report 1,238 active cases.

Most of these cases were reported in the Bratislava Region (44). They were mostly imports from Ukraine, the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) specified.

Despite the recent surge in new coronavirus-positive cases, hygienists say no community spread has been confirmed in Slovakia so far. This would occur only if unclear disease outbreaks emerge regularly and in higher numbers, ÚVZ explained in a Facebook post.

The current epidemic situation is characterised by a local spread with most outbreaks being located. If a person cannot say where he/she was infected, it does not mean there is a community spread, hygienists added.

The central crisis staff is expected to meet on the afternoon of August 25.

Other coronavirus-related news

  • Both McDonald’s restaurants in Trnava have been disinfected and, after adopting necessary measures, have reopened. They had close on August 21, after three of their staff tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The town of Vranov nad Topľou (Prešov Region) will test all 140 inhabitants of a block of flats where there lives a coronavirus-positive person revealed by the August 22 testing. As they are of Roma origin, the town adopted special measures, said Mayor Ján Ragan after the meeting of crisis staff. The town has already disinfected the spaces and supplied the inhabitants of the block of flats with masks and disinfectants.
  • Bratislava city councillor Adam Berka was infected with the coronavirus. He has informed the public about it on Facebook, listing the names of clubs he has visited in the past few days. He was also critical of the official information on the epidemic situation in Slovakia.

In other news

  • The Supreme Court decided that both Monika Jankovská and Denisa Cviková, detained during the Búrka (Storm) operation targeted against corrupt judges, will remain in custody. It thus changed the decision of the Specialised Criminal Court that originally agreed with Cviková’s release.
  • The minimum wage will increase from the current €580 to €623 as of January 1, 2021, Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina) agreed with the representatives of employers. It will thus represent 57 percent of the average wage in Slovakia for 2019. The representatives of trade unions organisations left the August 24 meeting to protest against the separate discussion between the minister and the representatives of employers.
  • The number of guests in accommodation facilities in Slovakia continued decreasing in June, despite the reopening of the economy. It dropped by 68 percent year-on-year, while the number of nights spent in the facilities decreased by 63 percent year-on-year. The number of guests increased five times compared with May. (Statistics Office)
  • Respected film critic, publicist and translator Pavel Branko died on August 17, 2020, at age 99. The media followed his wish and published the information on the day of his funeral, on August 24.

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