News digest: Slovak winemakers call foreign wine offer at Dubai Expo a disgrace

Experts propose tightening anti-pandemic measures, sidewalks in Bratislava will get paving with unique design, a church in Košice boasts a huge crypt.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. The weekend is coming and we have prepared a quick summary of the main news of the day in our Friday, November 5, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

For weekend tips and reads, check out our Spectacular Slovakia weekly roundup. This week, Peter Dlhopolec is writing about chamois in the Tatras, comets, Slovak hockey players, and upcoming events.

Inspired by European cities like London, Berlin and Barcelona, Bratislava has redesigned its paving. The new design should appear on the sidewalks of the capital starting next summer. People can take a closer look at the new paving in the courtyard of the Primate’s Palace in the city centre.

“The surface of our sidewalks is like another facade of Bratislava,” said Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo when introducing the new paving in late October, adding that it will highlight Bratislava's identity. “It affects how we feel in the city, not only in terms of the comfort of walking but also in terms of aesthetics. Therefore, we designed our own concrete Bratislava tile, which we will lay on the sidewalks throughout the city.”

The paving will be made up of four different patterns featuring a combination of lines and waves. The most distinctive part of the paving, which follows the former stone paving in Bratislava, is a unique tile with the inscription Bratislava. This is a nod to the work of important Slovak artists Miroslav Cipár, Ľudovít Fulla and Milan Dobeš.

Photo of today

Feature story for today

The Church of St Anthony of Padua, a seminary church on Hlavná Street in Košice, becomes the most popular historical church in the city during the wintertime thanks to its underfloor heating.

Because of this heating, Košice also boasts an extraordinary discovery: a huge crypt.

When workers installed it during the replacement of the paving in the early summer of 1998, a hole appeared in the floor. Workers dropped a light down the hole, revealing more space at the end of it.

The most curious workers then crawled up to this space and found the crypt through the empty burial chamber no. 82.

The crypt, which was rediscovered after almost 120 years, is known to have been established in 1723 during the Baroque reconstruction of the 14th-century church, and it served as a burial ground until 1880.

A crypt as big as three buses hides below Slovakia's longest church Read more 

Anniversary of the day

Slovakia will commemorate on Sunday, November 7, the death of Alexander Dubček (November 27, 1921 – November 7, 1992), the man widely associated with the “political thawing” of the Prague Spring in 1960s communist Czechoslovakia.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 6,805 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 20,519 PCR tests performed on November 4. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 1,964. On Thursday, November 4, 20 more deaths were reported. The vaccination rate is at 45.73 percent; 2,515,241 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The sequencing of positive novel coronavirus samples in Slovakia has identified the AY.4.2 delta sub-variant. This sub-variant, which is 10 to 15 percent more transmissible than the original delta variant, was detected in eight of the 2,681 analysed samples that were taken in October, Daša Račková, the spokesperson of the Public Health Office, reported.
  • Compared to September 2020, Covid-19 hospitalisations are escalating at a much higher pace. A total of 55,000 patients have been admitted to the hospital, of which 5,000 have been placed on mechanical ventilation, Matej Mišík, director of the Institute of Health Analyzes, said.
  • The consilium of experts advising the government on how to mitigate the pandemic suggested on November 5 restricting the movement of unvaccinated people in black-tier districts. They further propose that employers should ask their employees to present Covid passes in red, dark-red and black tier districts.

Other news

  • Slovak winemakers are criticising the Economy Ministry, the organiser of Slovakia’s representation at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, for offering French wines at the restaurant of the Slovak pavilion. The Association of Wine Growers and Wine Producers (ZVVS) calls on the ministry to replace the French wines with Slovak ones. It said that last year alone, Slovak wines won more than 230 medals at prestigious world exhibitions. In total, more than 5,000 types of wines of domestic origin are available in Slovakia.
  • As of November 14, the bus operator Slovak Lines will cancel the line connecting Bratislava with the Austrian border town of Hainburg due to a significant, long-term loss on profits and the lack of support from the Slovak and Austrian self-governments.
  • The police have clarified the series of burglaries in Bratislava. They have detained two Ukrainians, 35-year-old Maksym B. and 36-year-old Roman Z., the spokesperson of the Bratislava police, Michal Szeiff, said.
  • More than 2,500 doctors from hospitals are ready to resign. They signed a declaration on their readiness to leave their posts if their conditions do not improve and the extremely serious situation in the Slovak healthcare system is not addressed, representatives of the Medical Trade Union (LOZ) said on Friday, stating that the situation in health care has not changed and continues to deteriorate.
  • Robert Fico, leader of the opposition Smer party, provided testimony to the police on Friday morning regarding the €50,000 and gold coins that were allegedly stolen from his office at the Smer headquarters. He told the police that the incident has been resolved via an internal probe within the party. The Smer leader had mentioned in a leaked surveillance video from a hunting cabin that someone had stolen €50,000 and several gold coins from his office at the Smer headquarters.
  • Food producers clustered in the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) have announced a 10 to 20 percent hike in product prices due to increasing input prices. They indicate that the hikes could be mitigated by a better subsidy policy and if retail chains narrow their margins, but Slovakia still won’t avoid the increase in prices.

Do not miss today

Winter hiking season kicks off in the High Tatras, despite trail closures Read more  McDonald's instead of an old milk bar. Photographer shows how some places have not changed at all Read more  Pandemics are uninsurable, climate change is the real challenge Read more  When injured or lost in the mountains, who do you call? Read more 

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