News digest: Health Ministry deems increased mobility bad news

Slovak test to tell flu from COVID registered. Special Prosecutor resigns after arrest.

As of Monday, fireforces have been securing antigen testing for the public at 25 sites. They reported that they have so far tested more than 17,000 people. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, November 12, 2020. It is a free-of-charge service for our readers, but if you want to support our work, you can always buy our online subscription here. As a subscriber, you get access to more detailed and in-depth Slovakia-related stories.

Kováčik resigns as special prosecutor

Nearly three weeks after he was detained on serious corruption charges, Dušan Kováčik has resigned from the post of special prosecutor.

The Special Prosecutor's Office was established within the Slovak law enforcement system to prosecute corruption and other especially serious crimes. The man who has led it since its inception in 2004 now faces such criminal charges himself.

The parliament will elect a new special prosecutor following due procedure and legal deadlines. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Juraj Šeliga (Za Ľudí) estimated the vote could take place in January or February 2021.

Related articleSpecial prosecutor resigns from post as pre-trial custody comes into effect Read more 

New Slovak COVID test registered

Slovak scientists have developed a test that will help distinguish COVID from the flu. They expect interest in the product in Slovakia and abroad as the flu season gears up.

It uses a swab taken from the nose and nasopharynx and the kit is meant for use in a diagnostic laboratory with the appropriate equipment, safety standards and trained staff. The new production method will enable the transport of tests at room temperature, which should simplify the logistics, storage and use.

Related articleSlovak tests which distinguish between COVID-19 and flu are officially registered Read more 

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said Slovakia has pre-ordered 2.44 million COVID vaccines that have recently been reported to be closer to mass production.

The vaccines will be free, without additional payments, and voluntary, Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) said.

Related articleSlovakia has ordered 2.44 million COVID-19 vaccines Read more 

Graph of the day

After the October drop, the mobility of the inhabitants of Slovakia is going back to regular values again, the Health Ministry reported, citing data from Apple.

"This is bad news, because higher mobility means a higher rate of contacts and meetings among people, and that means faster spread of the virus," the ministry wrote.

In other news:

  • Austrian police detained a 26-year old Slovak who threatened pedestrians with an airsoft gun in the city of Traun in Upper Austria. He even pointed it close to one man's head and pulled the trigger twice. (Sme via APA)
  • The Let's Stop Corruption Foundation has published the Zindex ranking of best public procurers among self-governments: Prešov tops the ranking of large cities, Bardejov tops the ranking of smaller cities. Žilina and Banská Bystrica are the best among regional governments.
  • The Confederation of Labour Unions rejected the prolonged national emergency. They see it as unfounded given the current coronavirus situation, and as vastly interfering with fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of assembly characteristic for the work of the labour unions. (TASR)
  • The Letecké Opravovne Trenčín aircraft repair company has closed a deal on providing construction-technological support for general repairs of the Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters. The contract between the company and its counterpart JSC Russian Helicopters was signed in Moscow.
  • The Transport Ministry has sealed the contract on the reconstruction of the railway hub in Žilina, one of the biggest investment projects of the ŽSR state-run railroad company worth almost €324 million excl. VAT. It will be done by the Združenie Pod Dubňom association headed by the Strabag construction company.

Do not miss on today:

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