News digest: Coalition bargains on closed schools for open shops

Antibodies testing is not an indicator to decide whether to vaccinate against Covid. More than 3,500 Covid patients in hospitals.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, December 7 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.

Shops open after two weeks of lockdown

Coalition partners presented how the anti-pandemic measures will look after two weeks into lockdown. All shops will open for vaccinated and recovered people sooner than expected, on December 10.

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On the other hand, grades five to nine of primary schools and secondary schools will close all over Slovakia. These pupils will switch to remote education from December 13. Younger pupils will continue to attend schools in person.

The lockdown and curfew will remain in place otherwise. All other measures, like the gradual opening of services for vaccinated and recovered people, similarly to open hotels on Christmas holidays, should take place as scheduled.

Another proposal of Finance Minister Igor Matovič is to reward seniors aged 60 and more with €300 in cash for taking the booster dose. Seniors who are vaccinated with the first dose and will receive the second, or those have not been vaccinated and will be, should receive €200.

The Health Ministry will be assigned to elaborate a legal analysis on compulsory vaccination and the involvement of an unvaccinated person in treatment.

More coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 7,049 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 24,952 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals is 3,503 people. 104 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 48.51 percent, 2,668,033 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • Police have reported 1,777 violations related to anti-pandemic measures in the past week. The police reprimanded 439 people, imposed 1,131 fines, transferred 67 cases to the relevant regional public health authorities and 140 cases are still pending.
  • Currently, it is nearly impossible in Slovakia to claim compensation for damaging one’s health after receiving the Covid vaccine.
  • Antibodies testing is not an indicator to decide whether to vaccinate against Covid-19 or to receive a third dose, said professor Miloš Jeseňák, the president of the Slovak Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology. "It is currently known that 10 to 24 percent of infected patients do not develop antibodies, especially if the course of the disease was mild or asymptomatic," he explained.

Photo of the day

The Christmas tree in front of the Presidential Palace is now lit, alongside Christmas trees across Slovakia.

President Zuzana Čaputová lit the tree along Doctors Juraj Smaha and Sabína Smahová and their son. "May the light of the Christmas tree we switch on together be hope for all of us coping with these difficult times together," the president said.

"I just wanted to give these people a little Christmas atmosphere because they, as well as thousands of healthcare workers all over Slovakia, will not have a completely peaceful Christmas," the president explained her reason to invite the family.

Feature story for today

Some foreign nationals living in Slovakia who wish to get the Covid booster shot after receiving the first two vaccine doses abroad do not have easy access to the vaccine. The recognition of vaccine doses received abroad can prove to be a lengthy process.

Booster or bust: Foreigners still face vaccine barriers in Slovakia Read more 

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In other news

  • The European Commission started an infringement case against Slovakia for failure to transpose a directive on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources.
  • Slovak technology startup Photoneo has gained an investment of 21 million USD. The company will use the capital to accelerate the production of its own 3D sensor technology. The IPM Group, in cooperation with Venture to Future Fund, Across, Earlybird, AI Capital, Credo Ventures and other investors who have already invested in the company in previous rounds, are behind this investment.
  • There will be a new bus stop in Bratislava called Kútiky on the route of bus line 35 from December 12. The stop will be located at a renovated overpass over Karloveská Street and will improve the transfer from bus to tram in the direction of Dúbravka and the centre.
  • The council of the Trade Union of Workers in Education and Science in Slovakia declared an emergency strike on Tuesday, calling on the Slovak government to start addressing the unfavorable situation in education without delay; in particular, by increasing financial resources to improve the financial evaluation of all education and science employees.
  • The government has allocated half a billion to help the Roma for the next seven years, and the Commission recommends adding at least another 800 million. The third version of the Partnership Agreement from Brussels has been returned, which is the basic document for regular Eurofunds. (Denník E)

Do not miss on today

Is Slovakia’s reputation a reflection of our own individual behaviour? Read more  Pandemic strengthened far right in Europe, extremists most active on Facebook in Slovakia too Read more 

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