News digest: New rules for AstraZeneca, Sputnik V decision expected tomorrow

Minister Mičovský steps down after his nominee ended up in custody. Austria to suspend the landing of planes from the UK.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

This is the Tuesday, May 26 edition of Today in Slovakia. Learn about the day's news in less than 5 minutes.

In today's digest:

  • Government loses one minister
  • AstraZeneca only for 60+
  • Austria to suspend flights from the UK soon

Agriculture minister steps down

Agriculture Minister Ján Mičovský (OĽaNO) announced that he will resign on May 31.

His decision is linked to the appointment of the former chair of the Slovak Land Fund (SPF) Gabriela Bartošová, who is currently in custody.

“After clarifying the situation at SPF, I could have compromised myself with my anti-corruption principle and pretended not to have been affected, but I did not. I'm resigning," he said in response.

Whether he will return to parliament and who will be his successor is not known.

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Age limit for AstraZeneca changes

Since the rollout of vaccination with AstraZeneca in Slovakia, only people younger than 60 had been receiving this vaccine. The Health Ministry decided to change it now, as did many countries in the EU due to the rare occurrence of blood clots after vaccination with this vaccine in young women.

The change should apply only to the first jabs of AstraZeneca, which are currently suspended in Slovakia. Only Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are being administrated to all age categories now.

Sputnik V vaccines will also wait in storage. Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said that the cabinet will make its final decision on the Russian vaccine's use in Slovakia at its May 26 session.

More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • The second wave of the pandemic in Slovakia claimed 17,000 victims above the long-term average of deaths. It is 3,500 deaths more than the official number of Covid-19 victims, showed the death data in Slovakia. (Denník N)
  • The National Centre for Health Information issued 71,000 vaccination certificates by Tuesday. Temporary certificates are valid until August 11 and they will be replaced by so-called green passes. The Foreign Affairs Ministry should inform the public about countries that will accept the temporary certificates. (TASR)
  • The possibility to choose one's vaccine probably will not become available on June 1. Today, only Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are used for first doses in Slovakia.
  • The Bratislava Region will open its fourth vaccination centre from May 29 in the health care facility in Malacky.
  • Austria announced it will impose ban on flights incoming from the UK between June 1 and 20 due to the spread of the Indian strain of coronavirus.

Photo of the day

The picture shows the ruins of the monastery of Mariánska Čeľaď in Nové Zámky district. From the once magnificent and extensive seat of the Pauline monks, with a spa, a garden, a school, a hospital, extensive lands and a lively farm, today the ruins of a national cultural monument are overgrown with greenery.

Feature story for today

Text messages have been resent behind the scenes in recent days, which prove interference in the investigation, said chair of the opposition party Hlas, Peter Pellegrini. Police Corps President Peter Kovařík denied these claims and pointed out that Pellegrini’s dates do not match.

Opposition showed text messages that allegedly proved interference in investigation Read more 

In other news

  • Boris Kollár convened a non-scheduled parliamentary session to Wednesday at 9:00, regarding the meeting of high-ranked representatives of the country in the headquarters of Slovak Intelligence Service. The proposal of group of MPs on suspicions from political influencing and manipulation of investigations should be discussed.
  • Former director of Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) Vladimír Pčolinský will remain in custody, the Supreme Court decided. Senate of the Supreme Court also expanded the reasons for custody for so-called preventive custody.
  • OĽaNO MP Ján Herák faces suspicions of sex abuse of a minor. Herák confirmed the accusation but he denies committing such an act. Herák grew up in a social care home for children and later went on to found the Fantázia detí (Children’s Fantasy) civic association, aiming to help abandoned children and those from socially-disadvantaged environment.
  • More than 5 million inhabitants have been counted in Slovakia's census, the Statistics' Office announced. Currently, the so-called assisted census continues, while 180,000 people have made use of it by now. (TASR)
  • Žilina-based Kia carmaker produced its four millionth vehicle in Slovakia. According to the carmaker, the four millionth car to roll off the production line is a Kia Sportage. The factory launched serial production in 2006. It produced its one-millionth vehicle in 2012 and added another million every three years.

Do not miss on today

Europe, along with the Tatras, had its hottest year Read more  Žilina wants to become the European Capital of Culture Read more  One of the European artistic gems found in the historic heart of Košice Read more 

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