News digest: Fico testifies to police, crematoria talk about unbearable situation

Slovak manufacturer will supply Slovakia with needed syringes for vaccination after hospitals claim they had problems buying them. Neighbouring countries will provide medical help to Slovakia.

Robert Fico leaving NAKA (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, February 18, 2021. This is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and get access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia. Thank you for being our reader.

39 accommodation facilities close down

Hotels closed their business the most Read more 

As many as 39 hotels, facilities offering short-term accommodation and camping sites have had to close their business. This represents 1.6 percent of all facilities offering accommodation to tourists, which are active in Slovakia, according to analysis by Bisnode, a Dun & Bradstreet Company consulting firm.

Paradoxically, the number of such facilities increased last year and was much higher than in 2018.

Altogether 2,480 hotels, camping sites and short-term accommodation facilities were registered in Slovakia in 2020, up by 223 compared to 2019, and by 396 compared to 2018.

Living in Dubai, testifying in Slovakia

Witness in corruption case reportedly lives outside Europe, he is returning only to testifyRead more 

A witness in a corruption case, Ľudovít Makó, lives in Dubai and only returned to Slovakia to testify when called on by an investigator, reported.

Another Slovak website reported that Makó was taken from Dubai in a private plane to Kuchyňa, a village in western Slovakia, from which he was driven to today’s hearing in Bratislava.

Makó is the most crucial witness in the case involving high-ranking police officials, heads of the financial administration and members of the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS).

Coronavirus-related news:

  • The number of hospitalised patients has reached a new high – 3,886 patients with Covid or suspected of having the infection. The number of deaths has not decreased and with another 103 cases reported for February 17, the total is 6,271 deaths altogether.
  • Austria has offered help to Slovakia to handle the coronavirus crisis. Healthcare staff from the Austrian army could help, the Austrian Defence Ministry claimed. Poland and Hungary are also ready to help, said State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Martin Klus, adding that Poland has offered 200 beds in local intensive care units.
  • A refrigeration unit for the deceased is now available in Košice. Until now, they were only available in Nitra and Trnava.
  • Operators of crematoria plan begin to addressing the unbearable situation created by the number of the deceased with the Central Crisis Staff. There are a total of seven crematoria in Slovakia, of which six are currently in operation. On Friday, February 12, the Nové Zámky crematorium stopped accepting the deceased due to lack of capacity.
  • While there were 14 vaccination centres open for teachers in the previous weekends, the ministry plans to open a total of 36 during the upcoming weekend.
  • Members of the pandemic commission will now be able to participate in the voting in an online form.
  • The company Chirana T. Injecta will deliver enough syringes and needles for Slovak vaccinations. The company plans to deliver two million one-ml syringes with a small dead space in March along with two million two-ml syringes and five million needles. In other months, it will supply components for vaccination as needed.

Photo of the day:

Feature story for today:

Pavol Lazar's collection of stamps is worth €1.5 million. Stereotypically, at least to some, a stamp collector may either look like an old gentleman in shabby clothes carrying his valuable albums under his armpit, or like a little boy whose passion for collecting postage stamps will pass as soon as he reaches the age of twelve.

Nevertheless, the description of a stamp collector goes beyond these two mental pictures. Stamps have always been collected by wealthy people. Then, there are people who do not collect stamps but acquire them as an investment, spending huge sums of money on them. World trade in stamps is worth billions of dollars a year.

Stamp collector: A counterfeit is sometimes more precious than its original Read more 

Other news:

  • Former PM Robert Fico testified to the police in the case of the accused former Smer economy minister Peter Žiga, attorney to the accused, Sergej Romža, confirmed.
  • Tennis-players Filip Polášek and Ivan Dodig will play in the Australian Open doubles finals. Filip Polášek is the first Slovak male Grand Slam tennis player to make it to the finals.
  • KPMG expects significant activity in the field of fusion and acquisition in the upcoming months in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Investors will try to finish the postponed transaction from the autumn, the company claimed.
  • Germany will not yield from the condition requiring 48-hour tests for lorry-drivers and drivers of individual transport, informed Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok, after he met with the foreign affairs ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany to negotiate the stricter rules at borders.

Do not miss on today:

Retail chains will contribute more to the food bank Read more  Prešov cemetery is an architectural jewel, receiving praise from abroad Read more  No more cash in taxis or at street vendors? There is now an app for thatRead more  Slovakia faces lawsuit from EC due to insufficient air quality protectionRead more 

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