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National emergency will be extended
The cabinet approved the prolongation of the national emergency by 40 days at its December 29 session.
As a result, the restrictions currently in place, including the curfew, will be applied until January 10, 2021.
It will also be possible to ask outpatient doctors to help in hospitals in the case of mobilisation and deploy up to 1,500 soldiers to help the police maintain public order and fight the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 as well.
Online booking for antigen testing
Some mobile testing sites are launching online booking for a free antigen test. The pilot testing has been launched in several regions of Slovakia and will end on December 31, 2020.
Those interested should fill in the form, where they will pick a location and available date. They should then receive a text message with a COVID-19 pass.
After the pilot phase, other mobile testing sites will be gradually connected to the booking system.
Other coronavirus-related news
- The number of new coronavirus-related deaths exceeded 100 for a second day in a row on December 28. The daily increase in new positive cases revealed by the PCR tests exceeded 2,000.
- 217 coronavirus-positive patients in hospitals require artificial lung ventilation, with the number gradually increasing. Slovak health care will not be able to manage the situation if the number nears 350, warns Matej Mišík of the Institute for Health Analyses, running under the Health Ministry.
- The Health Ministry has changed its approach to vaccination. The vaccine from the first supply will not be distributed to only 5,000 people, as originally planned. Instead, nearly 10,000 vaccines will be used immediately in the first round, while people will receive the second dose from the vaccines expected to be delivered in early January. Read more about the vaccination plans here.
- 250 healthcare employees of the University Hospital in Bratislava were vaccinated in two vaccination centres in the Ružinov and Petržalka hospitals on December 28. The hospital plans to vaccinate 420 staff members today.
- Ukraine has put Slovakia on the red list on December 25. This means that those coming to the country from Slovakia either need to show a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours or undergo home isolation until they receive a negative test result.
- The Levice district will forbid confessions and in-person masses as of December 30. Only the confessions of people who are about to die will be allowed.
- Slovakia will receive only 2.6 million antigen tests instead of the expected 4 million by January 7, the Economy Ministry said. Part of the agreement will be an option that should secure a further 2.6 million tests. The ministry cancelled the tender to procure 4 million tests before Christmas, but later promised to buy them directly. (Aktuality.sk)
Coronavirus shutters a travel agency
The Slovak branch of the Firo-tour travel agency announced bankruptcy on December 29, after its business was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has been active on the market for more than 20 years.
The representatives recommend that customers with booked holidays turn to the insurance company and claim compensation. They hope people will receive their money back in no more than six months.
Picture of the day:
Feature story for today:
Do you know which events shaped Slovakia in 2020? Find out more in a story by Nina Hrabovská Francelová.
In other news
- Former police chief Milan Lučanský, who faces corruption-related charges, ended in hospital after suicide attempt. He is in a critical condition. Earlier today, General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka confirmed that his previous injuries were not caused by another person.
- The collective agreement between the management and trade unions of the Trnava-based carmaker PSA Groupe will expire without having signed a new contract. The management said it can possibly start signing individual agreements directly with employees.
- People living in Bratislava, Trnava, Šamorín and Galanta may feel tremors on December 29. The epicentre of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 is in Croatia.