Good evening. Read the Thursday, November 25 edition of Today in Slovakia to catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes. We wish you a pleasant read.
Slovakia woke up to lockdown
Non-essential shops are closed, movement is restricted, and restaurants are selling take-away and delivery throughout the country. The two-week lockdown, announced just yesterday, started on November 25 at midnight.
Experts ask people to limit their movement as much as possible, but there are several exceptions. One of them is travelling outside the country.
“We can’t prevent people from travelling abroad,” said chief hygienist Ján Mikas. However, people must comply with the rules set by the country they are travelling to and comply with Slovak rules after they return.
Schools remain open, even though experts from the Health Ministry's advisory body wanted children aged ten and over to learn from home.
The proposal was blocked by the junior coalition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS).
“Schools will be closed as the very last resort. We insist on them being open,” said SaS chair and Economy Minister Richard Sulík, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
It is still not clear what will happen with after-school activities. Experts originally wanted to stop them entirely, but no decision has been adopted yet.
The Economy Minister should have introduced more details on testing in workplaces, but no such information was available by the time this digest was published.
Coronavirus and vaccination news
- 10,165 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 30,620 PCR tests performed on Wednesday. The number of people in hospitals has dropped to 3,188 and 51 more deaths were reported on Wednesday. The vaccination rate is at 47.51 percent; 2,612,896 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
- 429 Covid deaths were recorded in Slovakia in October. Of this number, 368 people (85.78 percent) were unvaccinated. Their average age was 74 years, and 218 were women and 211 men. The youngest woman was 29 years old and the oldest 102. The youngest man was 32 and the oldest 96. From the overall number, 54 people were vaccinated with two doses. The oldest victim was 102, the youngest was 51. (Health Care Surveillance Authority)
- Interest in vaccination is growing. The Health Ministry recommends everyone interested register at https://vakcinacia.nczisk.sk/ so they can obtain a specific date and time. 46,000 people have received the first dose in the past week and about 77,000 have received the third dose. Together, almost 335,000 people in Slovakia have already received the third dose.
- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years.
Photo of the day
The new campus of the software company Eset, which will be situated on Patrónka in Bratislava, should have a flexible, environmental design. The company wants to implement the carbon-neutral operation of buildings too.
Feature story for today
Most hotels and other accommodation facilities were closed even before the lockdown was announced yesterday. Hoteliers say that the situation from last year is repeating; they do not know whether they should prepare for the winter season. They added that they cannot work with such uncertainty.
In other news
- The lockdown and curfew as part of the declared national emergency also apply to those who enter Slovakia from abroad. Therefore, police will launch stricter checks at the outer borders.
- Public transport in Bratislava will operate under a holiday regime as of Monday, November 29, due to the ongoing lockdown. The vehicles of the individual lines will be dispatched based on the timetable valid for the working day during the school holidays. However, school connections 2, 4, 5 and 14 will continue to run.
- One in five women of reproductive age in Slovakia uses some kind of contraception; 10.3 percent of women use hormonal contraceptives. This share is much lower than that of Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, where 60-80 percent of women of reproductive age use contraception.
- Mayor of Košice's Old Town Igor Petrovčik decided to close all six kindergartens operated by the municipality due to the lockdown. They will be closed between November 29 and December 12. (Korzár)
- President Zuzana Čaputová supported the campaign on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. “Just today, when the lockdown starts in Slovakia, I want to encourage women who experience partner violence to look for help,” she wrote on Facebook. The campaign lasts 16 days every year.
- The four millionth car rolled off the assembly line at Stellantis Trnava. The carmaker wrote on social media that the jubilee car was a 100-percent electric Peugeot e-208 GT. The factory began serial production on June 1, 2006.
- Most faculties at Comenius University in Bratislava will teach online from Monday, November 29. The university’s spokesperson Lenka Miller pointed out that some graduates and students who need to work in laboratories may be exempted at the dean's request. She added that the regime at the dormitories remains the same; only people following the OTP regime (vaccinated, tested, recovered) can enter.
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