TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Two Slovak towns scheduled mass testing for the upcoming weekend

Hospitals in several Slovak towns kick off vaccination. The first nurse in Slovakia dies of COVID-19.

(Source: SITA)

This is your overview of news that happened in Slovakia on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. Today in Slovakia is free of charge service for our readers. If you want to support our work, buy a subscription that will give you access to our entire content. Thank you.

Nitra has its own lockdown

Due to the critical pandemic situation in Nitra, hygienists have imposed stricter measures in the town.

Avoid travelling to Nitra, police recommend. Stricter lockdown imposed, tooRead more 

Kindergartens are open only for children of parents working in health care and critical infrastructure. All employees are obliged to work from home if possible, while the limits for the number of people in shops have been set to one person per 25 square metres.

The police are patrolling the streets and checking whether people are observing the lockdown rules. They recommend against travelling to Nitra if possible.

The town meanwhile plans to test its inhabitants on the upcoming weekend. The Administration of State Material Reserves reportedly wanted to provide rapid tests of lower quality to the municipality, but Nitra Mayor Marek Hattas refused to do so. PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) has promised to provide the same tests as were used in the nationwide testing last autumn.

New strain of the coronavirus spreads in Slovakia, too

When information about the new strain of the coronavirus in the UK closed international transport for a few days before Christmas, Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) suggested it may have already arrived in Slovakia.

Now, he has confirmed that Slovak scientists found the new strain in the samples taken in the Michalovce district in eastern Slovakia. The new strain is more contagious than the original one and spreads especially among children, Krajčí added.

The Health Ministry plans to organise a screening of positive people in Slovakia for the new strain. Krajčí also said that since the shape of the curve of the infections in Slovakia is very similar to that of affected areas in the UK, it is likely that the new strain will be confirmed in other parts of Slovakia too.

Other coronavirus-related news:

  • The Health Ministry has so far received 10,561 applications from healthcare workers who want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. More than 7,000 people received a jab by January 4.
  • The voluntary mass testing for COVID-19 will be held in Košice during the weekend of January 8-11. The city has requested 100,000 tests from the state.
  • A nurse in Slovakia has died of COVID-19. 55-year-old Jana Backová, the first nurse to die from COVID-19 in Slovakia, worked in Veľký Krtíš. The Health Ministry has confirmed the death of 47-year-old Jozef Horňák, a soldier who was helping in Nitra hospital at the COVID-19 department as well.
  • The pandemic complicates the operation of the national postal services operator Slovenská Pošta, as the number of its employees infected with the coronavirus is growing. The opening hours and the delivery of consignments may thus be limited.

Picture of the day:

More hospitals across Slovakia started the vaccination process on January 5. Healthcare workers in Žilina, Trnava, Trenčín and Martin opened their vaccination centres. St Michael's Hospital in Bratislava started the vaccination, too. Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) was the first to receive a jab here.

Feature story for today:

In the report on the early December incident of ex-police chief Milan Lučanský, recently published by the Justice Ministry, the guard on duty said he checked Lučanský's cell on the morning of December 9 and noticed his right lower eyelid was red.

"During the talk, the accused L. told him: 'It's nothing, I just bumped my head.' To my question on whether he required medical treatment, he said: 'No, it is not necessary.'"

The record then states that Lučanský claimed he could not sleep at night, walked around his cell, stepped on his slipper, lost his balance and bumped into the corner of his bed.

Read more about what the documents published by the ministry reveal about this incident and Lučanský's subsequent suicide.

I only hit myself. Ministry publishes documents about Lučanský suicide Read more 

In other news:

Also on Spectator.sk:

How I came to appreciate (some) Communist-time architecture (from our archive) Read more 

Cycling lanes and new greenery postponed. Pandemic slows Bratislava's development Read more 

How to sew a mask and when hairdressers open. What Slovaks googled in 2020 Read more