National emergency will be declared on Thursday

The government set date for its end, but everything will depend on the situation after All Saints’ Day, the prime minister implied.

PM Igor MatovičPM Igor Matovič (Source: TASR)

The government has approved the proposal of the central crisis staff to declare a national emergency on Thursday, October 1.

It should last for at least the following 45 days.

“We’ll see what effect travelling during All Saints’ Day will have, and we’ll then decide on prolonging it or returning to normal,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) wrote on Facebook.

The declaration of a national emergency does not represent any higher risk for people. It will only enable the government to better and more efficiently secure protective equipment for medical workers or nursing homes and move medical staff to places where it is needed. It will also enable it to secure the re-profiling of hospitals, said Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO).

Impact on health care and some rights

The national emergency enables the state to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms to a necessary extent and for a necessary period. The government can declare it if there is a threat that the lives and health of people, the environment or property might be in danger.

It should last no longer than 90 days.

The law stipulates that the state can restrict some rights of people to go on strike and gather peacefully. It can also limit some property rights, meaning that some privately-owned buildings can be used by the state for a selected purpose.

The state can also restrict the movement of people (like the Matovič government did during Easter) and curb the freedom to spread information regardless of state borders (meaning it could probably take action against disinformation).

The national emergency can have an impact on public procurement as personal protective equipment or new tests can be purchased quicker, according to Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO).

Regarding medical facilities, the employees of hospitals that are in mobilisation can be moved from one place to another in order to secure medical treatment, he added.

What was the last national emergency about?

The first national emergency related to the coronavirus pandemic was declared by the previous government of Peter Pellegrini (Hlas) on March 16 and lasted until June 14.

It affected a total of 22 hospitals and institutes administered by the state, and from March 19, it was extended to other relevant health care subjects. The new government extended it, so it also affected nursing homes, outpatient doctors, general practitioners and specialists.

It enabled the state to move medical supplies and staff between the hospitals where there would be a shortage quickly and simply.

Apart from the impact on health care, the national emergency also curbed the rights to declare a strike and organise peaceful gatherings.

The state of emergency declared on March 11 is still in place.

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