News digest: Nationwide testing results are out, some question the second round

Hungary prolongs the border controls by a month. A picture by Czech and Slovak photographers picked as the Earth Science Picture of the Day.

PM Igor Matovič presents the results of the first round of the nationwide testing.PM Igor Matovič presents the results of the first round of the nationwide testing. (Source: SME)

This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Monday, November 2, 2020. For a deeper insight into the current affairs, read our Last Week in Slovakia, published earlier today.
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Nationwide testing results are out

Altogether 3,625,332 were tested in the first round of the nationwide testing held across Slovakia on October 31 and November 1, of which 38,359 (or 1.06 percent) were positive.

“I believe that this is a significant step for all Slovakia in its fight against the coronavirus,” PM Igor Matovič told the November 2 press conference.

Related articleMore than 3.6 million people tested during the weekend Read more 

It is still not clear whether and to which extent the second round of the mass testing will take place. Matovič already said on November 1 that he would like to repeat the testing, but later admitted that the second round might not take place in 20-30 percent of municipalities.

The final decision and further steps are to be revealed after the meeting of the central crisis staff , whose meeting started on the afternoon of November 2.

Meanwhile, experts do not recommend the second round for the entire country, and suggest more targeted testing. Some mayors oppose the second round.

Related articleDancing in protective suits, a soldier as DJ. These videos show the funny side of testing Read more 

Other coronavirus-related developments

  • 1,883 people were positively diagnosed with the coronavirus disease in Slovakia on November 1, the total number of tests exceeding 21,400.
  • Hungary has decided to prolong border checks by another month, until November 30.
  • Júlia Horáková, the senior doctor of the National Institute of Children’s Diseases (NÚDCH), has decided to return the state order Pribina Cross of 2nd class to protest against the current situation and the government’s steps concerning the testing. (Pravda)
  • Several retail stores have published notices saying who can enter shops after the nationwide testing. As they said, it is impossible to check the certificates.
  • MP Ján Benčík (Za Ľudí) has submitted a criminal complaint against MPs for the far-right Kotlebovci – People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) who published “guides” to avoid showing certificates given during the nationwide testing.
  • The Investments Ministry will allocate €1.5 million from the EHP and Norwegian grants to support culture.
  • Slovakia is ready to send ventilators to the Czech Republic, said Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO).

We would be like bosses if we managed to work normally before Christmas. But I’m not that optimistic.

PM Igor Matovič during the talk show on Radio Expres.

Suspects from Operation Gale in custody

Businessman Zoroslav Kollár, who appeared on the mafia lists, as well as judges Jarmila Urbancová and David Lindtner, will be prosecuted under custody. They were detained during Operation Gale, focused on corruption in Bratislava-based courts.

The Specialised Criminal Court issued the decision on the morning of October 31, claiming that they could try to influence the witnesses. They are all charged with accepting bribes and trying to interfere with the independence of the courts.

The decision is not valid yet as it was challenged by both the accused and the prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office. The Supreme Court will have final say in the case.

Read more:Court takes most suspects from Operation Gale into custody Read more 

Picture of the day:

NASA and BBC appreciated a picture of the Neowise comet taken by Czech photographer Petr Horálek and Slovak photographer Tomáš Slovinský. A mosaic showing the path of the comet this past summer as it graced the skies above the Tatras Mountains in Slovakia was published as the Earth Science Picture of the Day.

Feature story for today:

Since they began to roll off production lines, cars have often been touted as a symbol of personal freedom, allowing their drivers and passengers to travel when and where they want, unfettered by the constraints of rail or other forms of transport.

Today, with roads regularly clogged in many cities and towns, people in cars are more likely to feel imprisoned as they sit, sometimes for hours, in long traffic jams.

But some companies are working to bring that feeling of freedom back with an entirely new take on cars themselves – cars that fly. And Slovakia has not one, but two companies leading the field in the production of flying cars.

Read more:Slovak car-plane developers look to cash in on changing views of flying cars Read more 

In other news

  • The rectors of 10 Slovak universities and academies have supported Miroslav Fikar, the rector of the Slovak University of Technology (STU) whom the Academic Senate decided to recall at its late October session.
  • The torture and negligence of animals will receive stricter punishment, with culprits threatened with up to five years in prison, as stems from the amendment to the Criminal Code that came into force on November 1.
  • The Council for Budget Responsibility expects the GDP in the final quarter to drop 2.4 percent compared with the previous three months.
  • Former president Andrej Kiska has returned to the Dobrý Anjel (Good Angel) foundation.
  • Slovak director, scriptwriter, cameraman, publicist, photographer, publisher, producer and traveller Emil Fornay died at the age of 76. He was the first Slovak to visit all continents.

Also on today:

Related articleNarcissistic Trump, migration stories, and Wuhan: One World to screen 50 films online Read more 

Related articleKapitulská Street lacks pubs and cafés. The Germany ambassador loves it Read more 

Related articleNature and traditions: These are the best photos from north-east Slovakia Read more 

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