News digest: No green districts left on the map of Slovakia

Read your overview of news from October 16, 2020.

(Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

This is your overview of news on Friday, October 16, 2020. We prepare this overview for all our readers free of charge. If you want to support our work and have access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

Hospitals are filling up, problems in Bardejov

Another 2,075 new COVID cases were added to the statistics on Friday. At that time, 540 were in hospital and 51 needed lung ventilation.

The latest update of the map of districts showing the rate of the contagion shows there are no more green districts in the country.

Another hotspot after the northern region of Orava is the eastern-Slovak district of Bardejov, where 1,170 people are infected and the local hospital reports a critical situation.

The work of some wards is threatened due to the lack of staff. Of 700 health care staff, some 101 are out of work at the moment - some are COVID positive and in quarantine, some are at home with their children after kindergartens and schools closed in the district. The army has been helping to fill the gaps.

"We now have 24 COVID-19 positive patients, one on lung ventilation and two on breathing support," director of the hospital Marián Petko said as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Related articleA big aid overview: Am I entitled for OČR or other financial relief? (FAQ) Read more 

More news about the coronavirus in Slovakia:

  • Railway transport across the Czech-Slovak border will be temporarily limited. Changes mainly concern trains passing through Žilina and Čadca.
  • As of Saturday, Germany will consider the whole of Slovakia a risky country. People arriving from Slovakia to Germany need to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Žilina Faculty Hospital reports 36 infected staff and another 30 in quarantine. They were found thanks to preventative testing. The investigation has not found transmission from staff to patients so far. (My Žilina)
  • Some 20 - 30 people of the management of the University Hospital of L. Pasteur in Košice are in quarantine after they were in contact with a positive person.
  • Poprad hospital reports 53 infected staff and Lučenec has 48 infected staff. (TASR)
  • COVID-positive international students organised a party in their dorm rooms in Bratislava, violating the quarantine rules.

Diplomatic shuffles: New ambassadors in prominent postings

Slovakia will have new ambassadors in the Czech Republic, the UK, the USA and Russia. Also the envoys to NATO and the OECD in Brussels and Paris will change, Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok confirmed, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Rastislav Káčer, who previously served in Budapest, will move on to become the ambassador to the Czech Republic.

Former Defence Ministry state secretary, Róbert Ondrejcsák, will take up the top diplomatic post in London.

He will replace Ľubomír Rehák, who is leaving London and will lead the Slovak Embassy in Moscow.

The former head of Slovakia's permanent representation to NATO, Radovan Javorčík, will serve as the Slovak ambassador to Washington.

His post with the NATO representation will be taken up by Peter Bátor, who has served as the foreign policy advisor to President Zuzana Čaputová, while experienced diplomat František Ružička will go to Paris to lead the Permanent Mission to the OECD.

Picture of the day

In other news:

  • The top three positions in the ranking of richest Slovaks by Forbes remained unchanged.
  • PM Igor Matovič, whose OĽaNO party is aspiring to become a member of the European Peoples Party, met with the EPP head Donald Tusk in Brussels on Friday.
  • The Slovak Food Bank has distributed more than 2,890 tonnes of food to people in need so far this year. Marko Urdzík from the food bank said that they have noticed an increase in the demand for food, since many people have found themselves in material need.

Recommended weekend reads:

Spectacular Slovakia roundupOver the weekend, Kino Lumiére to resume its virtual cinema Read more  Product vs. art: Fashion walks back into the national gallery Read more  Banská Bystrica: Capital in spirit (from our archive) Read more  I was struck by how multiethnic Bratislava is, a Canadian diplomat says Read more 

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