MORNING NEWS HIGHLIGHTS - Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 9 a.m.

28. januára 2021 9:00
TASR brings a quick morning overview of the most important events seen in Slovakia on the previous day (Wednesday, January 27): NEW POSITIVE PCR TESTS: 2,775 Positive PCR tests in total: 241,392 NEW POSITIVE ANTIGEN TESTS: 2,599 Positive antigen tests in total: 177,783 NEW DEATHS: 101 Deaths in total: 4,361 BRATISLAVA - A total of 2,95 million people were tested as part of the countrywide 'screening testing' for coronavirus in Slovakia on January 18-26, of whom 36,547 (1.24 percent) tested positive, Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLANO) announced after an online meeting of the Central Crisis Management Team on Wednesday. Matovic noted that the situation has worsened compared to the countrywide testing in late October and early November. Meanwhile, 37 districts with the test-positivity rate exceeding 1.01 percent will see a second round of the screening. There won't be a second round in Bratislava, for example. The country's worst result was posted by Dunajska Streda district (Trnava region), which is close to Bratislava, on 3.3 percent. BRATISLAVA - The Health Ministry has approved the use of the drug Ivermectin in the fight against novel coronavirus, ministry spokesperson Zuzana Eliasova told TASR on Wednesday. It will be possible to use Ivermectin in Slovakia for treatment for the next six months. In addition to hospitals, it will be available in pharmacies on prescription, added Eliasova. The Health Ministry stated that it's an antiparasitic drug that also has very strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect in the case of COVID-19. "This is supported by a growing number of studies that show it to be effective, not only within in-vitro and animal models, but also in many clinical cases from centres and countries all around the world. The medicine will be administered as part of further treatment. It's already been registered in several countries; for example, in France, the USA, Sweden and Norway," said Eliasova. BRATISLAVA - Former Slovak football player and manager Jozef Venglos, also known as the greatest figure in the Slovak football, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 84, the Slovak Football Association and football club Slovan Bratislava reported on the same day. Venglos coached the Czechoslovak national teams that won gold medals at the 1976 European Football Championship in Belgrade and bronze ones at the 1980 tournament in Italy. He also led Czechoslovakia"s U23 team to gold medals at the European championship in 1972. BRATISLAVA - The Slovak Environment Agency (SAZP) will not provide a subsidy to former prime minister's adviser Pavel Kalinsky and his civil association called For a Better Society, Environment Minister Jan Budaj (OLaNO) told a press conference on Wednesday. SAZP decided to withdraw from the contract because Kalinsky failed to fulfil his obligation to inform the agency about a potential conflict of interests. BRATISLAVA - Stricter lockdown rules have entered into force in Slovakia as of Wednesday, with a negative test for coronavirus or a certificate of recovery from the infection not older than three months required for individuals who want to go to work, post offices, banks, libraries, cleaners, car workshops and the countryside in the same district, for example. Meanwhile, the police have announced stepping up of checks into the curfew. This also holds for pupils of primary schools as of the sixth grade and all other students, and people taking children to a nursery school or other schools. The curfew will remain in place until February 7. Negative tests will be required between January 27 and February 2 in less-affected districts and new tests until February 7 in the worse districts. BRATISLAVA - Slovakia's Parliament on Wednesday approved a new Defence Strategy, which describes as its primary goal the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Slovakia, while calling collective defence as part of NATO the most effective way of defending the country. Out of 120 MPs present, the document was backed by 108, with 11 voting against it and one abstaining. It was 16 years ago that a defence strategy was passed in Parliament. The latest strategies for defence and security were only approved by the government in 2017, without being presented to the House for a vote. BRATISLAVA - President Zuzana Caputova commemorated the victims of the Holocaust in Bratislava on Wednesday. "The Holocaust is not only a Jewish tragedy, it is a tragedy for all of us. That is why it's always important for us to bear witness to the Holocaust, and that is why we still honour the memory of the millions of Jews and our fellow citizens who became victims of the most perverted idea in modern history," said the head of state. "The president laid a wreath and placed a stone on the Holocaust Victims Memorial on Rybne Namestie," reads the president's official website BRATISLAVA - The Slovak Towns Union (UMS) is disappointed from the online meeting of the Central Crisis Management Team over dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, complaining that the central bodies aren't treating local authorities as relevant partners, TASR was told by UMS spokesperson Daniela Pirselova on the same day. "We simply don't see the state reflecting on experts' recommendations and we're confused. We don't know what to expect next," said UMS president Richard Rybnicek. He also complained about an "inappropriate and confusing" presentation of results from the countrywide 'screening testing' for coronavirus carried out during January 18-26. According to Rybnicek, verified data should be presented to prevent disinformation and confusion. BRATISLAVA/KEZMAROK - Independent MP and Mayor of Kezmarok (Presov region) Jan Ferencak (a member of extra-parliamentary Voice-SD) on Wednesday pointed to discrepancies in data from the 'screening testing' for coronavirus performed across the country last week as presented by Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLANO) and those recorded by municipalities. According to Ferencak, mayors wanted to discuss these discrepancies before the results would be presented, but Matovic went public with them anyway. BRATISLAVA - The Cabinet at its regular session on Wednesday okayed the Labour Ministry's proposal to grant more time to pay social insurance premiums. In line with the proposal, the deadline for the self-employed and employers to pay social insurance premiums for January will be extended until June 30. BRUSSELS/BRATISLAVA - Peter Bator is the new Slovak Ambassador to NATO as of Wednesday, with Petra Vargova assuming her office of the Slovak Permanent Representative to EU in Brussels five days earlier. BRATISLAVA - A man armed with an axe attempted to force his way into Parliament on Wednesday but didn't get far, as he was promptly pacified by security and handed over to police, Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family) reported on Wednesday. am
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