This is the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. In less than five minutes learn about politics, business, and other notable events of the day in Slovakia. If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.
More testing points open across the country
Everyone will have a chance to get tested, the city of Bratislava said in an effort to calm down people who failed to book a date for antigen testing, after the cabinet declared that a negative test result will be required when going to work from January 27.
There is also the possibility of getting tested without a previous appointment. About 89 mobile testing points across Slovakia do not require previous booking. Their list is available on the website of the Health Ministry (in Slovak only).
Municipalities also plan on establishing temporary mobile testing points, mostly during the upcoming weekend, to ensure there will be enough testing capacities.
Bratislava recommends following the website and Facebook pages of the respective boroughs, which will report about the place and opening hours of the mobile testing sites once open.
A similar initiative can be seen across Slovakia, where local municipalities promised to open more testing points.
Latest coronavirus developments:
- More than 1,900 of some 9,800 tests carried out on January 18 were positive. A further 111 people died.
- For now, the curfew ends on January 25 and will start again only on January 27 (until February 7). The cabinet is expected to discuss the situation.
Johnson Controls confirms layoffs
Johnson Controls International in Bratislava confirmed that it will lay off about 500 employees, mostly from financial departments and accounting. These positions will be moved to India, where the labour force is cheaper.
The reorganisation should start in the coming weeks and conclude by the end of April.
Another multinational company, AT&T Global Network Services Slovakia, is also said to be dismissing its staff. Even though it has not confirmed the information, trade unions reported that 300 out of 2,800 employees will be dismissed.
Picture of the day:
President Zuzana Čaputová and Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď commemorated the 15th anniversary of a military plane crash near the Hungarian village of Hejce, considered the biggest tragedy in the history of the Slovak Armed forces.
Feature story of the day:
I have been through certain personal self-reflection towards the end of the murder trial with the people accused of murdering journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. I realised that much more room was given to the prosecution than to the defence, and there was no objective reason to explain that.
There were doubts in the case, the defence offered both rational and irrational arguments. The problem I found in myself was that I could have given more room to the rational arguments. We all desired just punishment for the murderers and for the masterminds. That led to wrong expectations, when the public considered the guilty sentence the only right verdict.
Investigative reporter Adam Valček writes about what he learned during the Kuciak murder trial and how it applies in the case of the charged co-founder of Penta.
In other news:
- President Zuzana Čaputová signed amendments linked to the second pandemic wave, including changes introducing a fine for preferential treatment of people who receive the COVID-19 vaccination outside the valid vaccination list.
- Former tennis player Dominika Cibulková, who with her husband was preferentially vaccinated, helped with testing at the National Institute of Children’s Diseases (NÚSCH) as a volunteer.
- A Slovak man from the Nitra Region faces one to five years in prison for violating the rules of plant and animal protection when he hunted and killed a jungle tiger in South Africa. He brought the animal back home and used it for advertising hunting in the country.
- The Koliba company considers a fine of €135,000 for water pollution an effort to damage its reputation. It will appeal the decision.
- Universities in Bratislava will start the summer semester with distance education. The Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVÚ) is considering combined education.
- The Bratislava airport reported an 82-percent annual drop in the number of passengers in 2020. On the other hand, the volume of aerial freight reached the second highest amount in history.
- Smoking in Slovakia keeps decreasing. While 10 years ago about 40 percent of people in Slovakia smoked, the number went down to 18.5 percent in 2019.
- A bird flu was confirmed in the case of a deceased swan found near Veľký Draždiak lake in Bratislava. Slovakia joined the UN 28 years ago.
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