News digest: Curfew and testing is the Slovak-style lockdown

Read your overview of news on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

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This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, October 22, 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.

Slovakia to lock down and then test

Nationwide testing will take place in Slovakia over the Halloween weekend, but it will be preceded by a version of lockdown based on a curfew with various exceptions.

Contrary to what PM Igor Matovič suggested yesterday, the lockdown will thus be much milder than that which occurred in Spain and Italy during the first wave in the spring.

The sessions of the crisis staff and the cabinet took the whole day on Thursday and involved making "the hardest decisions that any Slovak government ever had to take", as Matovič said.

The pilot project for the nationwide testing will take place as of tomorrow, between October 23 and October 25 in selected regions, as planned. The antigen tests to be used for nationwide testing arrived in Slovakia earlier on Thursday.

Slovakia is going to introduce stricter checks at the border with Ukraine, more details about borders may be determined on Monday, the interior minister said.

Related articleNationwide testing - an ambitious plan with an uncertain result Read more 

More about the second wave in Slovakia:

  • On Thursday, 1,728 new infections were added to the coronavirus statistics. Also, 17 more people were confirmed as having died from the COVID-19 lung infection. Slovakia thus has 115 victims for now.
  • The Bojnice hospital COVID-19 ward is full. The hospital could put aside more beds for COVID patients, but they do not have the staff to treat the patients there. (Sme)
  • The Slovak Medical Chamber called on all Slovak doctors working abroad to return home to help with the complicated coronavirus situation in their home country. "Please, come home, we need you," the head of the chamber, Marian Kollar wrote.
  • The Defence Ministry launched a dedicated website,, with all information about the nationwide testing. It is in the Slovak language only.

Prominent prosecutor detained

On Thursday morning, the police detained the head of the Special Prosecutor's Office, Dušan Kováčik. He faces corruption-related charges. His office deals with corruption and high-profile criminality.

Kováčik has been nicknamed Mr. 61:0. In 2017, the media reported that Kováčik did not file any criminal lawsuits in 61 cases he had been supervising for eight years in the post.

Kováčik has been charged as one of a group of four people "accused of several deeds, including the crime of corruption", the Sme daily reported, citing the General Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Jana Tökölyová.

Quote of the day

"I meet people, everyone is wearing masks. I meet people who are disciplined, patient, who want to be helpful in these uncertain times. Today, you, citizens, are the source of certainty for me."

President Zuzana Čaputová published a Facebook post calling on the government politicians not to toy with people's trust and to be clear in their communication about the measures they are intending to take.

Picture of the day:

The Rusovce park has not received any systematic maintenance since 1945, and it looks that way. Today, it seems that better times for the park are to come.

One of Bratislava's oldest parks will regain its historical look Read more 

More news from Slovakia on Thursday:

  • From today, October 22, until the end of the year, women in Slovakia work for free. The Institute for the Research of Labour and Family thus hopes to draw attention to the fact that women in Slovakia earn almost 20 percent less than men.
  • The largest online petition in Slovakia's history, Climate Needs You, has been submitted to the parliament. More than 120,000 citizens demand that MPs and the cabinet consider climate change one of their priorities and take concrete steps towards dealing with it. "The public demand for a solution to the climate crisis can no longer be ignored and we believe that the MPs see it the same way," said one of the petition organisers, Jakub Hrbáň, the coordinator of Fridays for Future Slovensko. Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina) agrees that climate change is important, but for now the coronavirus is the priority and "everything else is secondary".
  • The police are investigating disinformation that appeared on Facebook with the aim to discourage people from being tested. It alleged that testing is designed to plant microchips for 5G reception into people's bodies.
  • The willingness to get vaccinated against the coronavirus is dropping in Slovakia. While in April, some 40.9 percent of those polled said they would take it, in September it was only 23.5 percent, a survey by MNFORCE, Seesame and the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
  • The Kia automotive plant in northern Slovakia has halted production of its morning shift on Thursday, due to gaps in supplies. Production was not restored before 6 pm Thursday.

More on today:

Analysts on state budget:No balanced budget for next three years, this time due to COVID-19 Read more  Pandemic eating. Wrapped in a blanket, from a plastic bowl Read more  InterviewSlovakia's best-selling thriller writer: I fear a fragmented society more than the themes of my books Read more 

Theme: Coronavirus

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