Good evening. The Tuesday, January 11 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.
How the anti-pandemic rules will be set
The Covid automat warning system, which set regional anti-pandemic rules based on local indicators, including the number of the infected and vaccination rate, was deactivated on November 25 when a number of hospitalised patients reached a critical point.
The decision of the coalition council on January 11 suggests that the regional rules will not return so soon.
The Health Ministry proposed some changes to the Covid automat system, but it was not approved by coalition partners, the Sme daily reported.
One of the biggest changes in the draft Covid automat should be the cancellation of the OTP regime, which benefited people who were fully vaccinated, tested or recently recovered from the disease.
The coalition thus complied with the opinion of experts from the Science Helps initiative and a council of experts who did not recommend the introduction of a Covid machine for the unpredictability of the Omicron variant. Due to its high infectivity, the variant is expected dominate in Slovakia in the coming days to weeks.
Comprehensive measures will be introduced instead. They should favour those who have been vaccinated and those who have overcome Covid in the last six months. The measures should be presented by the Health Ministry after Wednesday's government.
More coronavirus and vaccination news
- 2,595 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 13,746 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals is 2,053 people. 50 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 50.21 percent, 2,761,680 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
- There will be no decision on mandate vaccination in the coming weeks. It would take months to accept the decision, and it would not transpire before the Omicron wave, Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said. The analysis on mandate vaccination was to be completed by January 10, but the Health Ministry was given an additional ten days. (Markíza)
- The Health Ministry is warning the public against a hoax circulating online: the Constitutional Court did not cancel quarantine, wearing masks and respirator, regime for vaccinated and recovered, nor Green Passes.
Photo of the day
Friendly relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic need to be reinforced and existing cooperation further developed. The Prime Ministers of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Eduard Heger and Petr Fiala, agreed on the aforementioned at Tuesday's meeting. The meeting is part of the first official visit of the new Czech PM abroad, which is always to Slovakia, according to the tradition between Slovakia and Czechia. Fiala also met with President Zuzana Čaputová.
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Feature story for today
Allowing a person with Covid into the workplace has so far been considered a health risk and punishable by law. In a few weeks, it may become a necessity in Slovakia. With the fourth pandemic wave driven by the superinfectious Omicron variant, Slovakia will need to adopt measures it has not seen. With the expected steep increase in infections, thousands of people will end up in mandatory isolation at the same time, which may lead to a collapse of workplaces.
Read the story by the Sme daily on how Omicron may change the anti-pandemic rules currently applicable in Slovakia.
In other news
- In November, the Slovak construction industry grew year-on-year for the second month in a row, this time by 1 percent. However, the industry is still lagging behind the pre-pandemic level by 8.4 percent and the volume of work is driven by contracts abroad.
- The defence agreement with the US passed the government's legislative council, and an important vote on the government awaits on Wednesday. Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď confirmed that he plans to submit the material first to the Security Council tomorrow, then to a meeting of Heger's cabinet. (Denník N)
- The Police Corps have new vice presidents and a new person has been appointed to lead the National Criminal Agency (NAKA). Branko Kiss and Damián Imre became vice-presidents of the Police Corps, while Ľubomír Daňko will head the NAKA. Peter Scholtz is no longer the temporary appointed head of police inspection. Robert Miko continues to serve as deputy director of the Inspection Service Office.
- In 2021, 8,641 people in Slovakia went bankrupt, down 23.18 percent compared to 2020. As demonstrated by an analysis performed by CRIF - Slovak Credit Bureau, the number of personal bankruptcies dropped for the second year in a row, but the decrease was somewhat steeper in 2002 at 30.42 percent.
- Billa plans to build a new central warehouse worth more than €38 million in Sereď until the end of the year. The current warehouse in Senec will be replaced. The warehouse in Petrovany near Prešov will continue serving eastern Slovakia.
- Think-tank INEKO published a ranking of the best Slovak primary and secondary schools. Jur Hroner Secondary Grammar School in Bratislava, Secondary Industrial School of Electrical Engineering in Prešov and Primary School at Staničná Street 13 in Košice took the first positions in their categories.
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