News digest: Slovakia reports more than 1,000 Covid hospitalisations

MP cyberbullied the president's daughter, police say. Slovakia has donated more than 700,000 vaccines. Famous Slovak opera diva dies.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, October 19, 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.

Hooligans who took over football match were organised

Polish hooligans boasting on social networks about how they train in martial arts and then test their skills on the streets attended the October 17 football match held in Trnava.

The police and the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency claim that they follow hooligan groups and share information with surrounding countries. They provided no explanation of who erred in this case.

The police have not yet pressed charges. They subpoenaed camera recordings and are trying to find out the names of the hooligans. They have only said that the incident was a failure of the organiser.

Acting Police Corps President Štefan Hamran promised that he would focus on the football hooligans.

MP exposes minor to online mockery

Non-affiliated MP Tomáš Taraba exposed the 17-year-old daughter of President Zuzana Čaputová to mockery on Facebook for her appearance at the fashion show recently held in Bratislava.

He published her picture on his Facebook account, with the comment that Slovakia will soon have a new top model.

In a discussion under the picture, people commented on her appearance. Yet, there were many who were disgusted with his behaviour.

The president herself responded, claiming that Taraba should leave her children out of political conflict. The police went even further, labelling his activity as cyberbullying.

Taraba was quick to upload a response video, claiming that he did not mean to mock the president's daughter and it is actually him who is being bullied.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 1,797 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 12,160 PCR tests performed on October 18. Ten more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 45.17 percent; 2,484,406 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The number of patients hospitalised in relation to Covid has exceeded 1,000 for the first time since the third pandemic wave started; there are 1,056 patients, out of whom 18 percent are fully vaccinated. Others are either not vaccinated or partly vaccinated.
  • Slovakia has donated 770,000 Covid vaccines by AstraZeneca so far. The country sent 60,000 vaccines to Ukraine, 10,000 to Montenegro, 160,000 to both Taiwan and Kenya, 280,000 to Rwanda, and 100,000 to Vietnam.
  • The University Hospital Bratislava and the Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice decided to postpone some planned surgeries, given the increase in the number of hospitalised Covid patients.
  • 7,893 people have registered for vaccination with the third booster shot against Covid, according to the National Health Information Centre (NCZI).

Picture of the day

People unsatisfied with the draft amendment to abortion legislation walked the streets of Bratislava and other Slovak towns on Monday evening. The amendment is aimed at restricting access to abortions, which will be discussed in the second reading in the October session (which started today). Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović shared concerns, even sending a letter to Slovak MPs.

Interview for today

Matt Apuzzo, a three-time Pulitzer Prize laureate, will pay a visit to Bratislava in one week, where he will hold a public lecture.

In an interview with The Slovak Spectator, he said that you can criticise journalists, but referring to them as enemies is going too far.

Some people want to make the real world equivalent to a Facebook feed Read more 

In other news

  • World-famous Slovak opera diva Edita Gruberová passed away in Zürich at the age of 74. She made her debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1970 and ended her career in 2019.
  • The non-governmental organisations Transparency International Slovakia, INEKO, Slovensko.Digital and Let's Stop Corruption Foundation have called on the government to fulfil its promise of open selection procedures. They criticise the choice of the new director of the Antimonopoly Office and the recent appointment of a new chair of the Slovak Land Fund.
  • The U. S. Steel Košice (USSK) company is planning a two-month shutdown of its Blast Furnace No 1. The shutdown of the furnace is not related to energy prices, as USSK spokesperson Ján Bača said, but to planned maintenance works. The repair is expected to begin in November and take two months. The furnace should be back in operation in January 2022, he added for the SITA newswire.
  • More than 555,000 cars were produced in Slovakia in the first half of 2021, which the Automotive Industry Association (ZAP) considers a very good result, taking the current situation into account. In the first six months of 2019, Slovak carmakers produced more than 615,000 vehicles over the same period, while in the pandemic year of 2020 it was more than 420,000 cars.
  • The ranking of small and medium-sized enterprises with the healthiest growth, Diamonds of Slovak Business 2021, was published by Enterprise Investors and Forbes magazine in cooperation with Finstat and PwC. The ranking evaluates companies without foreign capital. In terms of individual regions, the ranking was topped by the Bratislava company Pixel Federation, Nitra's Pharmagal-Bio, Žilina's Hyperia and Sobrance's Slovakia Trend Export-Import.

Do not miss on today

Four examples of how artificial intelligence is used in education Read more  Slovakia does not recognise US certificate of vaccination, though Czechia does Read more  Discover one of Slovakia’s best-preserved and most imposing castles Read more 

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