News digest: More details on testing presented, president disagrees with proposed penalties

Overview of news from Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Zuzana Čaputová and Igor Matovič met to discuss nationwide testing.Zuzana Čaputová and Igor Matovič met to discuss nationwide testing. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news in Slovakia on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Today in Slovakia is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and access more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia.

More details on nationwide testing revealed

The pilot phase of the nationwide testing should take place in the Orava region and Bardejov from October 23 to 25, while the main part is scheduled for two following weekends, between October 30 and November 1, and from November 6 to 8.

Everybody who will be in Slovakia at the time can participate, regardless of their nationality or citizenship. PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) invited them to be tested at the expense of Slovakia.

Read more:Here's what the across-the-board coronavirus testing should look like Read more 

Matovič said that those who will not participate in the testing or will not have any other tests they paid themselves will have to stay in isolation for 10 days. President Zuzana Čaputová noted that under these conditions, it is not voluntary.

Related articleTesting will be voluntary, but those who don't attend will have to stay in isolation Read more 

Trnka still a prosecutor with a slightly reduced salary

Former general prosecutor Dobroslav Trnka will have his salary cut by 15 percent for three months, according to the decision issued by the disciplinary committee.

The proceeding was initiated for his statements about the hidden camera he and Kočner installed in his office when Trnka served as general prosecutor. He was punished for lying about why he released Jozef Majský from prison.

The disciplinary committee at the General Prosecutor’s Office decided that Trnka may continue working as a prosecutor, despite the fact that he is also facing criminal prosecution and had a close relationship with Kočner.

The decision is not valid yet as the deputy of the General Prosecutor’s Office, Jozef Szabó, appealed immediately.

Read more:Former general prosecutor escapes discipline with a salary cut Read more 

Coronavirus news

  • Coronavirus claimed the first life of the medical staff in Slovakia: 48-year-old doctor Rastislav Melek from the Orava region.
  • Altogether 705 new cases were identified in the October 19 testing. Slovakia thus reports a total of 31,400 coronavirus-positive cases, according to the statistics.
  • More than 44 percent of people plan to participate in the nationwide testing for coronavirus in Slovakia, according to a poll carried out by the AKO agency published by the Hospodárske Noviny daily.
  • Two men who participated at an unauthorised protest on Saturday in the capital and were throwing cobblestones at police officers may be sentenced to 12 to 25 years in prison.
  • Almost three-quarters of people are willing to participate in nationwide testing, an AKO poll showed.

Feature story for today:

With increasing numbers of people infected with the coronavirus, the number of infected doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff is also increasing. Hospitals around Slovakia are reporting dozens of infected medical staff.

Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice has been dealing with the problem since mid-October. The hospital temporarily suspended the practical education of medics and secondary health care schools students, its science, research and education director Peter Kizek reported on October 13.

Students of the final and sixth year of medical studies are still obliged to participate in practical education. Medical students of the English programme at the Faculty of Medicine at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University (UPJŠ) in Košice wrote The Slovak Spectator that this does not make them feel safe. More than fear of becoming infected themselves, they worry about infecting others.

Medical faculties, however, say that students have nothing to fear. Most of them test their students regularly and none permit students to work in COVID wards.

Read more:Practice in hospitals continues for final year medical students, some are afraid Read more 

In other news

  • President Zuzana Čaputová handed credentials to three new ambassadors of Slovakia: Jaroslav Auxt who will work in Thailand, Tomáš Felix in Nigeria and Rastislav Káčer in the Czech Republic.
  • The National Highway Company broke law 12 times in the competition for the southern bypass of Prešov worth more than €350 million, while eight of them could have had an impact on the result of the public procurement, according to the Public Procurement Office.
  • The Specialised Criminal Court President Ján Hrubala and chair of the Judicial Council Ján Mazák submitted a proposal to start disciplinary action against Specialised Criminal Court Judge Michal Truban, for his decision in the case involving Norbert Bödör.
  • The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has detained four people suspected of corruption and money laundering in two raids in Poprad and Bratislava. The investigation concerns activities in the Slovak Land Fund.
  • The autumn notification of Eurostat slightly increases the deficit of Slovak public finances for last year, from April's 1.3 percent to current 1.35 percent of GDP.
  • Bratislava's Old Town borough has cancelled the Christmas market on Hviezdoslavovo Square due to the coronavirus. There will be a Christmas tree and Advent wreath, though.

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Almost a thousand restaurants and pubs did not survive this year Read more 

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