News digest: President wrote to health minister to listen to scientists

Students and teachers have a problem with mental health. MP infected with coronavirus twice in two months.

Biochemist Pavol Čekan, infectologist Vladimír Krčméry and PM Igor Matovič before discussing of measures against spread of Covid-19. (Source: TASR)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. This is a free-of-charge service for our readers. If you want to support us, become a subscriber and gain access to more detailed news and interesting feature stories from Slovakia. Thank you for being our reader.

Scientists meet with PM, president sends letter to health minister

President Zuzana Čaputová wrote a letter to Health Minister Marek Krajčí, asking him to launch the sequencing of Covid-positive samples for new strains and deal with financial remuneration for healthcare staff.

The president met with scientists last week. She demanded that the health minister push their recommendation to sequence the samples more in order to find out about the mutation in Slovakia.

"We really need to know what the situation is," Čaputová wrote in her letter as quoted by the SITA newswire. "We must know what dangerous mutation of the virus is confronting us and the significance of their occurrence."

Leading Slovak experts on the pandemic are meeting with PM Igor Matovič today to discuss further measures against Covid-19. After two months in lockdown, the numbers of infected and hospitalised cases has not dropped significantly.

Students and teachers have mental health problems

More than 70 percent of university students and 52 percent of university teachers said that their mental health has worsened a bit or significantly during the pandemic, according to research conducted by psychologists and psychiatrists from Comenius University (UK).

University students and teachers report decline in mental health due to pandemic Read more 

Psychologist Michal Hajdúk explained that the differing results in the evaluation of personal mental health in the case of university teachers and university students are probably linked to greater stability with work or in relationships with older participants.

One-third of students feel more significant symptoms of depression and every fifth university student suffers from anxiety in the long-term.

Coronavirus-related news:

  • MP Peter Pčolinský (Sme Rodina) received a positive PCR test on coronavirus for the second time in two months. While the first time he survived the illness without symptoms, now he is suffering from fever, pain in the chest and exhaustion.

Opinion for today

Since Igor Matovič published his Facebook post on the anniversary of the murders of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, many have pondered how to react to such a serious loss of judgement that led to an attack against journalists.

Journalists are responding by continuing to do their job, writes Sme daily editor-in-chief Beata Balogová.

We are not entering the wars of Matovič Read more 

In other news

  • More than 35,000 teachers have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Education Minister Branislav Gröhling specified that more than 26,000 teachers up to 55 and almost 9,500 teachers above the age of 55 were vaccinated since February 20.
  • The three highest constitutional figures met on Tuesday in the Presidential Palace. President Zuzana Čaputová organised a meeting because of the serious epidemic and political situation, in which is Slovakia currently. Čaputová refused to comment on the expectations she presented to Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár and PM Igor Matovič.
  • By mid-April, all clients and employees of social services facilities in Slovakia who have applied for vaccination against COVID-19 should be inoculated. The Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family, Milan Krajniak, announced this information at Tuesday's press conference at the Ružinov Care Home in Bratislava.
  • Medical professionals have vaccinated the first employees from the energy sector against COVID-19. The first 53 employees from the Bohunice V2 nuclear power plant were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Nuclear power plant workers belong to so-called critical infrastructure.
  • Travel agency business has dropped 90 to 95 percent as a result of the pandemic and agencies are fighting for survival with honour, said Roman Berkes, president of the Slovak Association of Travel Agencies (SACKA).

Do not miss on today:

WWI cemeteries are special. There aren't any others similar to them in Slovakia Read more  Don’t overlook in-house talent Read more  People in financial dire straits less willing to get Covid jabRead more  Romania sends healthcare workers to aid SlovakiaRead more 

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