This is a special edition of the Today in Slovakia daily news digest of The Slovak Spectator. We are summing up day one of the second round mass testing.
People in mostly northern districts of Slovakia are undergoing the second round of coronavirus testing today.
The testing is taking place in districts where the incidence of the coronavirus infection was 0.7 percent or more, as detected during the first round of the testing that took place throughout Slovakia last weekend.
Unlike during the first round, long waiting times have been rare. By Saturday noon, more than 553,000 people had been tested, Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď reported, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Of those tested, 3,677 tested positive for COVID-19 and are thus obliged to isolate at home.
PM Igor Matovič reiterated during the press conference in Skalica on Saturday afternoon that the antigen tests are working.
"Slovakia has an efficient weapon against COVID-19," the prime minister said, as quoted by the Sme daily.
Experts have noted, however, that the positive trends that Matovič reported on Friday cannot be ascribed to the mass testing yet, since only one week has passed. Some positive trends are apparent in the most-hit regions, like Orava, where the pilot testing took place two weeks ago.
Matovič did not rule out the possibility of another round of mass testing in the coming weeks or months.
Slovakia's coronavirus stats for today:
On Friday, 2,579 new positive cases were added to Slovakia's statistics, from 15,767 tests. These numbers are based on PCR tests. The regional distribution of the new cases is as follows: Prešov 520, Žilina 503, Trenčín 383, Bratislava 281, Trnava 260, Banská Bystrica 227, Nitra 210, Košice 195.
Slovakia also has 34 more victims of the coronavirus, making it 351 so far.
Altogether 18,354 people have recovered from COVID-19, 1,364 of whom were added to the statistics on Friday, November 6.
The Health Ministry reported there are currently 1,743 patients in the hospital, 1,440 of whom are confirmed as COVID-positive.
Curiosities from the second round of the testing:
One of the testing sites in the Žilina district is located at the medieval castle Budatín at the Váh River.
A 68-year-old man queuing for the testing at one of the testing sites in Prešov suffered a heart attack and died. (TASR)
The doctor taking nasal swabs at one of the testing sites in Rimavská Sobota in south-east Slovakia was under the influence. After the police breathalysed him, they found he had 1.88 pro mille of alcohol. He is facing criminal prosecution. (FB profile of the Police)
In the western-Slovak town of Senica, a man turned out to get tested together with his male donkey and demanded the animal to be tested too. The team at the testing site did not oblige.
In some places, locals made sure members of the testing teams would not go hungry. In Banská Bystrica, the teachers and students from the local vocational school Pod Bánošom baked cakes for the testing teams. The Rotary Club, who was behind the idea, then distributed the cakes around the city, with the help of the Olympic champion in speed walking, Matej Tóth.
In the far east of Slovakia, in Humenné, the school canteen staff on Dargovských Hrdinov Street made original pastries for the 24 testing teams in the town: sweet buns and savoury "pizzovníky". They baked 750 of the latter, using 25 kg of flour. An additional 30 kg of flour was needed for the buns filled with jam. "We bake with love," the head chef, Anna Dudášová told the Korzár daily.
In Svätý Kríž in the Liptovský Mikuláš district, every woman who turned out to get tested also received flower bulbs as a gift. "Flowers are a rebirth, beautiful scent, inspiration, life," Mayor Dušan Matejka told the TASR newswire. "We are laying similar hopes on the testing and women are the bearers of these marvels. Since it is also time to plant the flowers, we decided to give gifts to all women who came to the testing with a bulb."
7. Nov 2020 at 18:07 | Compiled by Spectator staff