TODAY IN SLOVAKIA

News digest: Covid patients start to fill Slovak hospitals

Ministers deal with increase in electricity prices. Slovak hydrogen car premieres at Expo Dubai.

(Source: SME.sk / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, October 5, 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.

Žilina hospital asks for help

The current number of hospitalised patients in Žilina hospital has forced management to summon a meeting of the crisis staff, and scrap most planned surgeries.

The hospital said that three quarters of Covid patients admitted to the hospital are unvaccinated. Its management has already addressed other hospitals in the region, asking them to consider the potential relocation of some of its patients. The hospitals with the most patients are currently in Čadca and Žilina.

Meanwhile, several other hospitals across the country have started limiting planned surgeries.

The situation in Bratislava is better. Currently, about half of the patients are hospitalised in Košice, with half being inhabitants of the capital.

Bratislava may even enter the green tier of the Covid automat alert system, since the region already passed the 75-percent vaccination rate threshold. Yet, regional hygienists decided not to switch to this tier, giving the situation in the neighbouring districts as their reason.


Other coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 1,242 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 11,509 PCR tests performed on October 4. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 664. 14 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 44.73 percent, 2,459,934 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The central crisis staff will meet on Wednesday to discuss the pandemic situation in Slovakia.
  • There will be no lockdown, neither restriction of movement in Slovakia, said Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee). He added that the third wave is unlikely to end before Christmas, and expects that, though the peak will be lower than in the second wave, it will last longer. (Markíza)
  • The Žilina Self-Governing Region decided not to publish the planned routes of the mobile vaccination team given the protest events planned by anti-vaxxers, who have repeatedly obstructed people from getting vaccinated. “From now on, we are only cooperating with municipalities to minimise the possibilities of further conflict,” the region said.

Gov't promises to curb electricity prices

While the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) estimates that electricity prices will increase by up to 15 percent, the government promises that it can level the increase in prices for households.

The rise in the wholesale electricity price on international stock exchanges has already chased the biggest alternative seller of electricity out of the country: Slovakia Energy.

While Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) does not consider the increase in prices for households to be dramatic, his ministry has come up with strategies to tackle the problem, including special tariffs for households facing energy poverty, which may be up to one fifth of all households in Slovakia.


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Feature story for today

From kayaking in the python-infested Everglades to landing a role in a Slovak TV commercial because of a resemblance to Bruce Willis, one thing American artist Alan Craig hasn’t done is lead a dull life. His diverse skillset and hankering for adventure have led him down interesting paths in Slovakia and beyond.

From Hollywood to the Presidential Palace: American brings “renaissance of the real” to Slovakia Read more 

Picture of the day

The picture depicts the manor house and park in Malacky, with an alley of plane trees leading to the building. Different types of trees grow in the park, including oaks, beeches, spruces, chestnuts and various flowers. The place is open daily.


In other news

  • The ranking of the three richest Slovaks in Forbes magazine remains the same as last year. First place belongs to Ivan Chrenko, the majority owner of the HB Reavis developer, followed by co-founder of the Penta financial group Jaroslav Haščák, and Miroslav Trnka of security software developer ESET.
  • The Slovak pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai is now open to the public. The Slovak hydrogen car is among the first exhibited models.
  • Any activities planned by the Hungarian government that are held in Slovakia or have an effect on Slovakia should be discussed in advance, said Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) at a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó. He referred to several events that occurred earlier in Slovakia and involved Hungarian representatives. The two discussed several sensitive topics, and stressed that the relations between the countries are good.
  • The Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Branislav Paška, nephew of the late ex-speaker of parliament, to seven years in prison for machinations in public procurement, which concerned the purchase of an overpriced ultrasound machines for Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice in 2013. Branislav Paška was already been sentenced in another crime earlier this year.
  • The Specialised Criminal Court has issued European and international arrest warrants against Ján Kaľavský, former head of the National Criminal Agency's (NAKA) operation unit. In September, the Special Prosecutor's Office filed charges against Kaľavský related to corruption and the abuse of powers.
  • The city of Bratislava will buy original furniture for the Salvator Pharmacy on Panská Street for almost €1 million. The furniture, there since the building was constructed in 1904 but removed in the 1990s, ended up in the hands of private collector Erik Kovács in Nové Mesto nad Váhom. He has now agreed to sell it to the capital.
  • The Slovak Queer Film Festival is taking place in Bratislava between October 6 and 11.

Farewell, Anca

Anca spent the major part of her journalistic career as a member of the English section of the public-service Radio Slovakia International, where she covered all kinds of topics for 15 years, with a particular interest in health care and the life of foreigners in the country.

For more than five years, she was kind enough to take the time to regularly contribute her opinions to The Slovak Spectator and was keen to develop cooperation between the two English-language media outlets.

She passed away on Sunday in Bratislava. Slovakia was her home and she cared deeply about the country, while as a journalist she contributed to improving Slovakia as much as she could.


Do not miss on Spectator.sk today

Numbering of trolleybuses in Bratislava will change Read more 

Slovakia tops EU ranking in plastic waste, ministry calls for compostable alternatives 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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