News digest: Slovakia breaks record in daily coronavirus cases

The overview of news from Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

The new large-capacity sampling site in Košice opened on September 23.The new large-capacity sampling site in Košice opened on September 23. (Source: TASR)

This is the overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
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GDP growth prediction improved

A rise in demand and the improving situation of Slovakia’s key business partners may prevent the Slovak economy from falling as much as originally expected.

The Institute for Financial Policy (IFP), running under the Finance Ministry, has revised its macroeconomic prognosis, forecasting that the economy will drop by 6.7 percent this year. Back in June, it expected it to drop by 9.8 percent.

The GDP should return to its pre-crisis levels no sooner than in late 2021 or early 2022.

However, if our business partners introduced stricter measures to contain the second pandemic wave, the economy this year would drop by 8.4 percent, while the recovery next year would represent only 4.4 percent.

Related articleSlovak economy may fall less than expected Read more 

Lukashenko not considered a legitimate president

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko should be put on the sanction list, said Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) when responding to the unannounced inauguration of Lukashenko on September 23.

He considers it the final straw following the manipulated and illegitimate presidential elections in August and stressed that Slovakia will not recognise him as president.

Related articleSlovakia will not recognise Lukashenko as Belarusian president Read more 

Slovakia breaks daily record in new COVID-19 cases

Slovakia has broken a record in the daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

The September 22 testing revealed altogether 338 new positive cases, the most since the March outbreak.

The situation may continue worsening, with daily increases hitting 260-450 in mid-October, Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) suggested.

To contain the virus, the government representatives have not excluded adopting some stricter measures to contain the virus. This includes putting Austria and Hungary on the red list.

Related articleAustria and Hungary may be put on red list Read more 

Other coronavirus-related developments

  • A new large-capacity sampling site was opened in Košice on September 23, situated on the premises of the L. Pasteur University Hospital. As a result, every regional capital now has its own large-capacity sampling site.
  • Altogether 18 schools were closed in Slovakia by September 23, while 64 other schools have closed at least one of their classrooms. Currently, 226 classrooms are closed and 8,693 are staying home.
  • The government approved the proposal submitted by Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina) to prolong the contributions to preserve employment for employers and the self-employed until the end of this year.
  • The Interior Ministry has approved two national projects focused on the prevention and moderation of pandemic consequences in Roma communities, allocating €23.2 million in total.
  • An employee of U.S. Steel Košice tested positive for the coronavirus. The division he was working at has been disinfected, and other staff members continue working, said steelworks’ spokesperson Ján Bača.

Only measures that are final and have the highest political support should be presented to the public.

President Zuzana Čaputová after meeting with epidemiologists and chief hygienist on September 22

What else is happening in Slovakia

  • The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has carried out operation Oko (Eye) in various places across Slovakia, in connection with the construction of road infrastructure. It also raided the Bonul company owned by the Bödör family (TV JOJ)
  • The Supreme Court senate dismissed a complaint submitted by Alena Zsuzsová against a decision to take her into custody for planning the murders of two prosecutors and lawyer Daniel Lipšic.
  • Slovakia belongs to the countries that are the least accepting countries for migrants. It ranked ninth from the bottom in the Gallup’s Migrant Acceptance Index that surveyed 145 countries.
  • Slovakia still refuses mandatory migration quotas, said Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS) when commenting on the draft EU Pact on Migration and Asylum presented on September 23. In his opinion, the document he has seen creates a good base for a voluntary relocation of migrants coming to the EU.
  • Slovakia officially codified its own sign language on September 23, which is also celebrated as the International Day of Sign Languages.

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