Good evening. Welcome to the Tuesday, August 3, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. Read the main news of the day in less than five minutes.
Ministry is rewriting measures for the third wave
Vaccinated people in Slovakia cannot be sure that the potential closure of restaurants, cinemas or theatres in the third pandemic wave will not concern them.
The ultimatum of the coalition party Sme Rodina and its leader Boris Kollár , that the rules for unvaccinated people with a negative Covid test result should be equal to those who are vaccinated, effectively brought down the plan of measures the ministry had prepared for Slovakia in the third pandemic wave.
Some easing of measures was planned for people who have received one dose of the vaccine or those who had Covid-19, though they would face more limitations than the vaccinated if the infection numbers are very high. The limitations and measures would have automatically applied towards the unvaccinated.
"Now it all needs to be rewritten," said Henrieta Hudečková, chief epidemiologist of the Health Ministry and member of the consilium of experts who prepared the new rules . The changes will harm the vaccinated, she added, because the superinfectious Delta variant will spread faster in Slovakia if antigen tests are put to use.
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Police Corps president faces questions over protest
A number of coalition MPs are dissatisfied with the police's conduct during the recent protests against vaccination in the capital, when protesters stalled the traffic in downtown Bratislava and attacked journalists and passersby.
Along with ongoing tensions among the law enforcement bodies, this has eroded the trust of part of the coalition in the Police Corps President, Peter Kovařík. Za Ľudí MP Juraj Šeliga asked the head of the defence and security committee of the parliament, Juraj Krúpa of OĽaNO, to summon Kovařík for questioning in front of the committee. The committee may recommend that he be dismissed from the top police post.
Meanwhile, the far-right ĽSNS leader Marian Kotleba is calling on people to come to Bratislava for longer and larger protest on Thursday and Friday, with the aim of blocking several traffic junctions in the city, the Denník N daily reports. The police said they will intervene if a public disturbance arises.
On this day
The Demänovská Jaskyňa Slobody cave, part of the longest cave system of the Carpathians, was found one hundred years ago on this day.
On August 3, 1921, a Czech teacher named Alois Král took advantage of the extremely dry weather and climbed through a dried-out river bed to the underground channels of the Demänovka River. There he found the cave, which was so impressive that efforts were quickly begun to protect and preserve it.
Coronavirus and vaccination news
- 41 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed after 7,703 PCR tests were conducted in Slovakia on Monday. In the last week, 74 of the 87 positive samples were diagnosed as the Delta variant, which is 85.1 percent. Overall, Slovakia has so far sequenced 5,216 samples, with 293 identified as Delta.
- At least 30,000 new people should be vaccinated against Covid for the investment in the lottery with prizes for vaccinated people and the vaccination referral programme to pay off, according to the Value for Money unit running under the Finance Ministry. As many as 280,000 registered for the lottery and the special bonus by Tuesday noon.
- Education Minister Branislav Gröhling (SaS) called on parents, pupils and teachers to be vaccinated in August. "The higher vaccination uptake will allow schools to work better," he said. The higher vaccination rate will result in fewer outbreaks and fewer closures of schools. (TASR)
- The investment in the lottery and the referral programme introduced to motivate people to be vaccinated will return if it results in at least 30,000 people getting the jab, who would otherwise have rejected vaccination.
Picture of the day
A honey bee decorates the latest edition of special collector coins.
Slovaks in Tokyo
- Ján Volko did not make it to the semifinals in the 200 m run. With 21,21 seconds in the heat rounds, he ended 42nd in the overall ranking.
- Canoeist Peter Gelle ended seventh in the semifinals of 1000 m K1 and did not advance to the finals.
In other news
- Former judge Richard Molnár is facing charges after the investigator working on his case collected new evidence. Molnár faced corruption charges following Operation Gale, but General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka dropped the charges in May. (Aktuality.sk)
- Real estate prices in Slovakia increased by 6.4 percent quarter on quarter, most significantly in the Bratislava and Trenčín regions. The prices increased by 18.6 percent in the year-on-year comparison during the second quarter of 2021. (NBS)
- The State Veterinary and Food Administration has issued an extraordinary emergency measure allowing hunters to increase the killing of wild boars in the districts where infection has not been detected yet. The overpopulation of wild boars is the main reason for the spreading African swine flu, which currently affects 29 of the 79 districts of Slovakia.
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3. Aug 2021 at 17:38 | Michaela Terenzani