TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Number of cases double in a week, state of emergency not ruled out

Meteorologists issued warnings against intense rainfall for the southern and western districts of Slovakia. There will be regular flights from two Russian cities to Bratislava.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day with the Thursday, September 16 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

Pandemic on the rise in Slovakia

Slovakia's pandemic situation is deteriorating. As of next Monday, September 20, only four districts will remain in the green tier with the mildest measures.

There will be 44 districts in the orange tier, including Bratislava, and 27 districts in the red tier. For the first time since the new Covid automat tier warning system was implemented, four districts will be in the dark-red tier. Of the four, Bardejov will switch to the dark-red tier as early as Friday, September 17, per request of the regional public health officials who are concerned about the significant worsening of the situation in the district. They worry that the weddings planned for the weekend may worsen it even more.

The number of infections has doubled over the past week, said Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský.

He did not rule out that a state of emergency will need to be declared in Slovakia in the coming weeks. Some of the measures that are to apply in the dark-red tier require a state of emergency (such as a curfew), but the minister said that for now, regional public health officials have only been instructed to get in touch with mayors of the municipalities where the situation is the worst. These municipalities may decide to restrict the movement of people or ban events.


Expert group will deal with rule of law

PM Eduard Heger summoned the Security Council to address the "extremely worrying" development surrounding law enforcement authorities. He referred to the conflict in the police units.

The council session resulted in the creation of an expert group that will start meeting continuously from Monday, September 20.

It will prepare proposals for changes in the government and parliament to improve the functioning of the security forces. It will include representatives of courts, prosecutors, ministries and other institutions under the statute of the Security Council.

Meanwhile, opposition party Hlas announced that it will start collecting votes for a no-confidence vote in the entire Eduard Heger government.


More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 370 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 4,067 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals remains unchanged at 254 people. The vaccination rate is at 43.86 percent; 2,412,471 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Bratislava has reached a 75-percent first-dose vaccination rate among the age category 50+. “It is very important information because the number impacts the colour of the Covid automat warning tier system in our city,” Mayor Matúš Vallo wrote on Facebook. As soon as the second-dose uptake in this age group reaches 75 percent, the capital will not face the possibility of descending into the black, strictest tier of the warning system.

Travel info

The first level of the Alert System for the adoption of anti-epidemic measures at Slovakia's internal borders will take effect on September 20. The Slovak police will merely monitor the borders and checks will be done at random.


Photo of the day

The first stage of the Tour de Slovakia cycling race took place on Thursday. Peter Sagan finished second. Álvaro Hodeg from the Deceuninck - Quick-Step team won the stage, which started and finished in Košice.


Feature story of the day

Slovaks are prevailingly carefree about geopolitics and tend to overlook the risks of such an attitude, noted political analyst and director of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) non-governmental think tank Grigorij Mesežnikov.

"These may then translate into insufficiently clear pro-Atlanticist attitudes in defence and security matters, and European attitudes in terms of belonging to democratic states," Mesežnikov told The Slovak Spectator.

Slovaks are blind to geopolitical risks Read more 

In other news

  • The temporarily appointed head of the Bureau of the Inspection Service, Peter Scholtz, and three investigators from the National Criminal Agency, Ján Čurilla, Pavol Ďurka, Milan Sabota and Štefan Mašin from the Purgatory team, were taken into custody.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová's father Štefan Strapák passed away on September 15 at the age of 79 following a long and hard disease. The president has adjusted her work programme due to her loss for the upcoming days.
  • The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute issued a first-degree warning against heavy rain for the southwest and central districts in Slovakia. The warnings, in place until 8:00 on Friday, apply to the districts of Krupina, Veľký Krtíš, Komárno, Levice, Nové Zámky, Šaľa, Dunajská Streda and Galanta.
  • In connection with the global semiconductor shortage, the Volkswagen Slovakia plant in Bratislava must adjust production for the rest of this week and next week. Production in the segment of small city vehicles is currently interrupted. The production of SUVs will be partially affected next week, and the temporary suspension of the segment of small city cars will continue until September 24.
  • General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka dismissed Vladimíra Klimentová as his first deputy. She will now serve as his deputy, while Jozef Kandera was promoted to the first deputy general prosecutor.
  • Anyone who wishes to change their health insurance provider in Slovakia may do so until September 30.
  • Four weekly flights will connect Moscow with Bratislava and two weekly flights will connect Saint Petersburg with Bratislava.

    Do not miss on Spectator.sk today

Slovakia will have its first ever representative on the WHO Executive Board Read more  At this castle, visitors become archaeologists Read more  Connecting families with neurodiverse or differently-abled children Read more 

If you have suggestions on how this news overview can be improved, you can reach us at editorial@spectator.sk.

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