News digest: Pupils to only do sports in theory, believers excused from attending mass

Read your overview of news from Slovakia on Friday, October 2, 2020.

(Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Friday, October 2, 2020. This is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and get access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia.

More coronavirus victims confirmed in Slovakia

Slovakia's coronavirus death toll remains low compared to neighbouring countries even though six more casualties were added to the statistics on Friday, October 2.

All of them are people who have died in the first three weeks of September. The authorities only add new victims to the statistics once the autopsy confirms the pulmonary form of COVID-19 as the cause of death. One of the deceased is the 15-year-old girl who died in the Nitra hospital on September 7, and who was at first not classified as a coronavirus victim.

"It is a complicated case," the Health Ministry spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová said. Only additional consultations with experts on pneumopathology led the doctors to state COVID-19 as the primary reason for her death. The girl reportedly suffered from several chronic diseases and obesity.

Since the first half of September, Slovakia's coronavirus statistics started growing fast. On Friday, labs reported 679 new confirmed cases. The measures that apply as of October 1 are not expected to take effect earlier than two weeks from now.

More on coronavirus in Slovakia:

  • The Foreigners' Police informed that its departments around Slovakia will not accept any clients who do not make an online appointment as of Monday, October 5.
  • At least one COVID-positive doctor served in the Roosevelt Hospital in Banska Bystrica during the weekend of September 19-20, a source from the hospital told the Sme daily.
  • The Catholic bishops issued a dispensation from the compulsory attendance of the Sunday mass for all believers. They called on at-risk groups to opt for watching mass on the media instead. (SITA)
  • The state recommends schools teach physical education and music "only in theoretical form", to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. (Sme)

Globsec participants to be tested

Defence and security experts will flock to Bratislava for the annual Globsec conference, although in smaller numbers and under coronavirus-related limitations.

The conference that usually attracts high-level experts and politicians to Slovakia, takes place October 7-8. Foreign ministers from France, Turkey, and Greece are expected to attend. So are Austrian PM Sebastian Kurz and Belarussian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

All participants will be tested, using the exception from attendance limits as introduced by the public health authorities.

"We need to learn to live with COVID," the conference founder Robert Vass told the media, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Picture of the day:

Only after the Bratislava city council acquired the iconic building on Panská Street under its exclusive ownership in May this year, did some hope emerge that the pharmacy may return to its former glory. Jana Liptáková writes about the quest to bring back its precious antique furniture.

Feature story for today:

Interpreters of sign language often stood next to the PM and epidemiologists when they were informing the public about COVID-19 and the imposition of measures. Before the pandemic started, their appearance was quite rare.

“Only now, during the pandemic and interpretation of press conferences, do we better understand what obstacles – in access to the most basic information – people with hearing or other disabilities encounter,” said the Culture Ministry's State Secretary Radoslav Kutaš.

Related articleSlovak sign language has been codified Read more 

In other news:

  • The Matej Bel University law school will nominate Jozef Čentéš for general prosecutor. He has already been picked as the candidate of the Comenius University law school and of the Council of Prosecutors.

  • The Poštová Poisťovňa insurer is about to change hands. It is currently owned by Poštová Banka and Slovenská Pošta, the state-run postal service, is a minority owner. Index magazine reported that the Union insurer is the buyer. Neither Union nor the current owners commented on the rumour.

  • After months of reduced production, the steel company U.S. Steel Košice (USSK) has prolonged the work hours of one hundred of its employees as of October in response to increasing demand for some of its products.

Weekend reads and tips:

Slovak all-female relay swimmers make history crossing the Channel Read more  How a filmmaker found her creative cocoon in Bratislava Read more  Spectacular Slovakia roundupKošice Peace Marathon to go ahead, despite stricter COVID-19 restrictions Read more  Tip for trip: Lietava castle, a gem near Žilina Read more 

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