News digest: Schools across Slovakia are closing

Problems with regional buses in Bratislava persist. Meteorologists issue warnings against snow for Tuesday and Wednesday.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes with the Tuesday, November 30, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. We wish you a pleasant read.

11 districts will close schools

Despite the fact that the national lockdown does not concern schools, regional hygienists have the power to close them in a critical pandemic situation. Hygienists of 11 districts around Slovakia have already decided to do so.

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The upper grades of primary schools and secondary schools have switched to remote learning in the districts of Vranov nad Topľou, Rožňava, Rimavská Sobota, Brezno, Banská Bystrica, Trnava, Piešťany, Námestovo, Tvrdošín, Lučenec and Dolný Kubín.

The lower grades of primary schools and kindergarten remain open for now. They close only when individual cases of the coronavirus are confirmed.

“We have approached very sensitively the suspension of in-person education. Kindergartens and the lower grades of primary schools remain open because these children often have nobody to stay at home with,” regional hygienist Jozef Varga explained. “Children deserve an education, but first of all, it has to be safe.”

Problem with transport in Bratislava Region persists

The problem with suburban transport operator Arriva remains unresolved. Chair of Bratislava Region Juraj Droba proposed three solutions today.

One of them is the termination of its contract with Arriva, but he hopes that Arriva will reach an agreement with a subcontractor and provide enough drivers for all bus connections.

Arriva said that they are gradually hiring more people and they hope they will solve the situation soon.

Droba said that there is also a financial sanction for Arriva increasing every day which is already worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 7,069 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 22,057 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals has increased to 3,444 people and 77 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 47.96 percent; 1,637,766 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The presidents of Czechia, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary have called on their citizens to get vaccinated against Covid. “It is the only safe way out of this pandemic,” said Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová during a summit in Budapest.
  • Police have detected 800 breaches of anti-pandemic measures in the last week. Acting Police Corps President Štefan Hamran reported that 12,000 policemen responded to violations made by a total of 33,000 citizens. Breach of the curfew was the most common violation. Others involve establishments that remained open when they should have been closed and people who refused to wear a mask or observe quarantine rules.
  • Two men and a woman were charged with attacking infectologist Pavol Jarčuška. The attack happened in July. The charged made several statements in front of his home deemed unacceptable in a democratic society, said acting Police Corps President Štefan Hamran.
  • Slovak citizens living abroad may decide where they receive the third dose of the Covid vaccine. It is possible to receive the booster dose abroad according to the rules valid in the country, the Health Ministry said. If people are vaccinated in another EU country, they have to request a Covid pass there.

Photo of the day

Christmas decorations are already up in Slovak towns. Look at the holiday atmosphere in Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Nitra, Trnava, Trečín and Žilina.

Feature story for today

“The Danube is my live connection to my home in Bulgaria and that is how I feel the connection to my homeland here; the water is here today and will be in Bulgaria tomorrow," said Radostina Doganova, a Slovak-Bulgarian artist who recently opened a station gallery in Bratislava to connect Slovak and foreign artists.

The water of the Danube connects me to my homeland, says Bulgarian painter living in Slovakia Read more 

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In other news

  • The National Criminal Agency has addressed several issues around Slovakia linked with machinations with public procurement in the National Highway Company, reported. Almost 100 police officers have intervened in Bratislava, Trenčín, Žilina and eastern Slovakia.
  • State companies and their daughter companies should be obligated to publish their contracts as of June 2022, proposed Justice Minister Mária Kolíková in the amendment of the law on information. Amendments and supplements should be published as well.
  • The Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) failed to provide a hydrogen-powered bus to be used for professional and presentation purposes. It had to cancel the tender for this procurement as the price was too high. "In the announced public procurement, SIEA received an offer from only one supplier, which far exceeded the expected value of the contract," specified the agency's spokesperson Stanislav Jurikovič.
  • The district court of Košice sentenced Robo Džunko, whose case is well-known as one that involves draconic punishment for marijuana, to 12 years in prison. The original sentence of 12.5 years was cancelled by the regional court and returned to the district court. Džunko’s family said they will appeal again.
  • The Supreme Court released Jozef Brhel from collusive custody, thus annulling the resolution of the judge of the Specialised Criminal Court, Ružena Sabová, who originally extended custody.
  • The largest solar power plant in Slovakia should be built in the village of Jaslovské Bohunice (Trnava Region). The new solar park will generate 48 MWh and is expected to cost €60 million.

One last note: Meteorologists have issued a second-degree warning against strong winds in the mountains in the districts of northern Slovakia. The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute has also issued a first-degree snowfall warning for most of central and western Slovakia. The first-degree warning against strong winds and snowdrifts also applies here. Most warnings apply on Wednesday, December 1, too.

Do not miss on today

Finance Minister Matovič has a new way of boosting vaccination: €500 vouchers Read more  I used to be optimistic. The pandemic proved me wrong Read more  Slovakia surpasses the US in sugar consumption Read more  Super-deduction on R&D can help companies in crises Read more  Slovak astronomer’s hair photo lands on a US journal's November 2021 cover Read more 

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