TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Slovakia records highest number of positive cases since mid-April

Covid spreads mostly in schools. Bratislava ring road stretches to open on Sunday. Slovak water slalom athletes successful at world championships.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day with the Wednesday, September 22, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

Covid spreads mostly in schools

Slovakia recorded more than 1,100 Covid-positive PCR test results yesterday, the largest daily caseload since mid-April. It is possible that similarly high numbers will be observed in the following days.

This is at least what analysts from the Health Ministry predict, given the pandemic developments in the country. Several hospitals even started reprofiling their beds for Covid patients.

The data suggests that Covid is spread mostly among schoolchildren and their parents. Yet, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee) said that they will try to keep schools open as long as possible. When talking about the situation in schools, he mentioned that some classrooms had to close and switch to remote education after the schoolchildren came in touch with an unvaccinated and infected teacher.

On the other hand, he opines that last week’s visit of Pope Francis did not have a significant impact on the spread of the virus. Large parties, like weddings, are a different story.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of districts have to apply rather strict measures that will especially impact those who are not vaccinated against Covid and not tested. Only one district (Dunajská Streda) will remain in the green tier from next Monday, applying the least strict measures. Another 34 districts will be in the orange tier, 39 in the red tier, and five in the dark red tier. This means that in most of Slovakia, people who want to dine inside restaurants must at least have negative test results.


More Covid and vaccination developments

  • 1,180 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 10,898 PCR tests performed on September 21. The number of people in hospitals has dropped to 437. The vaccination rate is at 44.12 percent; 2,426,450 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • All professional soldiers who are or will be deployed abroad will have to be vaccinated against Covid, including soldiers serving in foreign missions and operations, but also those for quick deployment. About 56 percent of all soldiers have been inoculated so far, said Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO).
  • People who persuaded others to get vaccinated against Covid and register through the system run by the Finance Ministry should receive their bonuses by the end of the year, the cabinet decided at its September 22 session. The change still needs to be approved by the parliament; the MPs will discuss it in a fast-track proceeding.

Remaining Bratislava ring road stretches to open on Sunday

The D4R7 Construction company has confirmed that it will open most of the remaining sections of the Bratislava ring road on Sunday, September 26.

The D4 highway and R7 express dual-carriageway should be more than 59 kilometres in length in total, and include 14 intersections and 122 bridge constructions, the SITA newswire reported.

The stretches of the D4 in question concern the sections between intersections Bratislava, Jarovce - Petržalka (2.2 km) - Bratislava, South (originally known as Ketelec; 4.3 km), including a three-kilometre segment with Lužný Bridge crossing the Danube.

The remaining stretch of the R7 road between the intersections Bratislava, Nivy (this includes two intersections between Prievoz and Slovnaftská Road) and Bratislava, South (6.3 km) should open as well.

The last incomplete D4 stretch between Ivanka pri Dunaji and Čierna Voda is set to open in October.

Yet, the connection of the D4 and D1 highways, which would increase the transportation utility of the D4 road, is still years away from reality.


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Picture of the day

The copper sculpture of St Michael the Archangel was taken from the top of one of Bratislava’s best-known tourist sites, Michael’s Gate, after more than 250 years. It was relocated to the Old Town Hall, where the visitors can now see both parts of the sculpture before it is reconstructed.


Feature story for today

Months of eavesdropping, a secret agent's work and cooperation with informants led to the arrests of four elite police investigators. These investigators had been looking into an organised crime group alleged to have controlled security forces under the previous governments of Smer.

Investigators of the Interior Ministry's police inspectorate arrested four officers of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA), a move that has observers talking openly about an all-out war among the police and that has led to rumours of a possible coalition break-up.

Find out more about the allegations against the charged NAKA officers, the anti-team and its work, and the political implications of recent development in law enforcement in a report by Roman Cuprik.

How an anti-team dismantled an elite police team with the help of the secret service Read more 

In other news

  • The Croatian police have identified a woman with a memory loss, found on the island of Krk, as a 57-year-old Slovak. Her identity has been confirmed by the Slovak police.
  • Analysts of the Finance Ministry have revised their prognosis of this year’s economic growth to 3.7 percent (down from 4.6 percent in July) as a result of the third pandemic wave, problems with supplies and inflation.
  • The registered unemployment rate, calculated from the number of jobless ready to take a job immediately, dropped to 7.37 percent in August (down from 7.66 percent previous month), which is the lowest level in the past 10 months. The total unemployment rate was the lowest since last May, amounting to 8.02 percent. The Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR) recorded more than 75,000 vacancies.
  • Head representatives of companies in Slovakia are optimistic when it comes to the global economic development and the growth of their companies. As much as 73 percent of CEOs in Slovakia believe the global economic growth will accelerate in the next 12 months, while 55 percent opine that their company will grow in the following year. This stems from a survey carried out by PwC and Forbes. (SITA)
  • Slovakia sold its state bonds for €33.8 million in the Tuesday auction. On Monday, it borrowed €293 million on the financial markets, according to the data of the Debt and Liquidity Management Agency (ARDAL).
  • Slovak water slalom athletes won medals on September 22 in three events of the 2021 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships held in Čunovo. Jakub Grigar, Adam Gonšenica and Martin Halčin won silver in the men’s K1 team event, while Jana Dukátová, Soňa Stanovská and Eliška Mint won bronze in the women’s K1 team race. Alexander Slafkovský, Marko Mirgorodský and Matej Beňuš won bronze in the men’s C1 team event.

More on Spectator.sk today:

Covid impacts travelling abroad. This is what you should prepare for Read more 

Pharmacists ready for vaccination but there is no legislation Read more 

Playing with colourful and laid-back Jack Sparrow and its crew 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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