News digest: 35 infections with the Delta variant confirmed so far

Money for the vaccination campaign missing. Most of Slovakia with very relaxed measures. Police warn people about scammers.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Monday, July 12, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.

Shortage of money for vaccination campaign, president doesn’t understand reasons

Despite Covid vaccination being underway since late December 2020, observers say that there is no visible vaccination campaign.

Recently, Finance Minister and ex-PM Igor Matovič has criticised the health minister, nominated by his own OĽaNO party, on several political talk shows. One criticism addresses the vaccination pace against Covid and its weak promotion. Yet, it is his ministry that is blocking money for the campaign.

Matovič explained at a press conference in early July that his department is only trying to make sure the public money is effectively spent. This is why they asked the Health Ministry for additional documents, showing on which media outlets they want to run the campaign along with the potential discounts for using ad space.

The Health Ministry responded on July 12 that they have added the required documents to their request, and is ready to send more papers if necessary.

Meanwhile, President Zuzana Čaputová commented on the discussion, saying that in her opinion, the reasons for not allocating finances for the campaign are beyond her comprehension.

“Nearly all countries are doing what they can to explain vaccination and its benefits and importance for society,” she said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Slovakia should do the same.”

As she continued, the ministers should clarify the situation between each other.

For a more in-depth view of the week’s events, check out the latest Last Week in Slovakia overview published earlier today. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter with one click here.

More Covid and vaccination developments

  • Out of 1,032 PCR tests completed on July 11, seven were positive, and three of 3,971 new antigen tests were positive. Two more people died, increasing the total number of Covid deaths to 12,521.
  • Only three districts (Humenné, Ružomberok and Turčianske Teplice) remain in the yellow tier from Monday, July 12, with the rest being green. This means that the measures in most of the country are very relaxed.
  • Altogether 35 cases of people infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Slovakia. The Alpha variant is still dominant in the country, as the June sequencing of positive samples confirmed.
  • Several thousands of people attended the July 10 protest in Bratislava in front of the Government’s Office, expressing their disagreement with vaccination against Covid. Most participants carried the flags of the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), which promoted the gathering on social networks.
  • It is now possible to combine the vaccines of two different producers, but only with a recommendation from a doctor, the Health Ministry announced.
  • More than 11,000 children aged 12-14 have been administered the first Covid vaccine shot so far, and 197 have been fully vaccinated. In the 15-17 age group, more than 30,000 teenagers have received the first shot, and more than 11,000 the second shot.
  • Roughly 2,500 people have been vaccinated on the premises of their employers. Companies in Slovakia prefer a mobile vaccination team visiting a factory. (Denník E)

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Picture of the day

Slovak athlete Emma Zapletalová has become an under-23 European champion in the 400m hurdles after winning a race held in Tallinn, Estonia. With a time of 54.28 seconds, she broke the national (55.19 seconds) and championship records (54.50 seconds).

Feature story for today

Hobby vintner Milan Kodnár says: “Whoever wants work to do should find themselves a vineyard.” This proverb turned out to be completely true when Kodnár and other enthusiasts from the Bratislava borough of Vajnory revitalised the desolate Široké vineyard on the foothills of the Small Carpathians and turned it into a community vineyard.

The revitalised vineyard recalls the viticulture history of this Bratislava borough.

The community vineyard in Bratislava’s outskirts serves as an example and inspiration Read more 

In other news

  • Several municipalities in eastern Slovakia have been fighting floods caused by the July 11 storms. Meteorologists have issued several weather warnings for the next two days, related mostly to high temperatures.
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) asked for a meeting with his Belgian counterpart Sophie Wilmès during his visit to Brussels, during which he voiced a request for the prompt investigation on the death of Slovak Jozef Chovanec after being detained by the Belgian police at Charleroi airport in February 2018.
  • Five crisis phone lines will receive €310,000 from the reserve of PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO).
  • Turnover annually increased in all monitored sectors of the economy in May 2021, but the level of turnover before the pandemic has so far only been reached by information and communication activities. Industry lagged by almost 13 percent, other sectors reducing the lag to a single-digit value, construction to only less than 3 percent, according to the Statistics Office.
  • The State Veterinary and Food Administration (ŠVPS) has temporarily stopped the export of live animals to Turkey. The respective ordinance came into force on July 12 and will be in place until further notice.
  • The police have been repeatedly warning the public about a telephone scam, in which the callers pretend to be technicians of a well-known IT giant. Recently, a man was robbed of €3,500 after being persuaded that hackers had been trying to steal money from his bank account and the caller was able to block these attacks.

More on today:

Smer chair Fico reportedly met with a cooperating witness in bribery case Read more 

Pro bono: Unfair notices and groundbreaking asylum granted Read more 

Lucky number seven: Eleven 700m+ mountains of the Small Carpathians Read more 

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