MORNING NEWS HIGHLIGHTS - Friday, April 9, 2021 - 9 a.m.

9. apríla 2021 9:00
TASR brings a quick morning overview of the most important events seen in Slovakia on the previous day (Thursday, April 8): NEW POSITIVE PCR TESTS: 1,576 Positive PCR tests in total: 368,470 NEW POSITIVE ANTIGEN TESTS: 1,100 Positive antigen tests in total: 358,039 NEW DEATHS: 79 Deaths in total: 10,322 BRATISLAVA - The manufacturer of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine didn't provide the State Institute for Supervision of Medicines (SUKL) with approximately 80 percent of the data necessary for its evaluation, TASR has learnt from SUKL head Zuzana Batova, adding that the lack of and inconsistency of the data has made it impossible to adopt a conclusion on the benefit-risk balance. SUKL further recommends that people in Slovakia should be inoculated with registered vaccines. At the same time, it pointed out that the missing documentation from the manufacturer is necessary for a clinical examination of Sputnik V. In addition, vaccines imported into Slovakia cannot be compared with those used abroad, as they are connected only by name. BRATISLAVA - Finance Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) has departed for Moscow, where's set to meet head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev to discuss supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine for Slovakia, TASR learnt from the Finance Ministry on Thursday. "The talks will concern the Sputnik V vaccine. The aim of the working meeting is to sort out technical matters related to supplying Slovakia with the jab," stated the ministry. MOSCOW/BRATISLAVA - Slovak Finance Minister Igor Matovic (OLANO), who as prime minister in early March arranged the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, announced from his trip to Moscow on Thursday that he was told there that Slovakia should return the vaccine and the relevant contract should be terminated. Calling opponents of the use of the vaccine in Slovakia "idiots", Matovic reproached them on Facebook for "having taken the health of a million people in Slovakia hostage". "You can pop champagne," wrote Matovic in reference to the latest developments, stressing that he "won't give up", however. He added that he'll present more details from his trip to Moscow at a press conference on Friday morning. BRATISLAVA - The Slovak State Institute for the Supervision of Medicines (SUKL) said on Thursday that it wasn't told by anyone in authority that the testing of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine by the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) would constitute a violation of the contract with the Russian producer. "SUKL strongly protests against misleading statements made today by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) concerning the laboratory testing of batches of the Sputnik V vaccine imported to Slovakia," said SUKL spokesperson Magdalena Jurkemikova. She asserted that SUKL doesn't know the content of the classified contract signed between RDIF and the Slovak Government. BRATISLAVA - Nursery schools and the first five grades of primary schools will reopen as of Monday (April 12) for children of all parents, not only those working in the critical infrastructure and those who can't work from home, TASR was told by the Education Ministry on Thursday. Special schools, secondary health-care schools and the final grades of secondary schools will remain open. With all types of schools, it will be required that at least one parent will be tested for coronavirus each week. This also holds for pupils as of the sixth grade of primary schools. BRATISLAVA - The opposition Smer-SD party wants to initiate a special parliamentary session over the coronavirus pandemic, party leader Robert Fico told a news conference on Thursday, adding that Smer-SD intends to submit the signatures necessary to convene the session next week. If the governing coalition doesn't approve the session's agenda, Smer-SD will initiate a special parliamentary session with a no-confidence motion in the Government being the sole point on the agenda, said Fico, adding that it's the Government that is responsible for the state of Slovakia after one year of pandemic. BRATISLAVA - Following her meeting with representatives of the Roma community in the Presidential Palace on Thursday, President Zuzana Caputova said she welcomes the Government's initiative thanks to which financial resources should be allocated from the Recovery and Resilience Plan for the Roma community in Slovakia. The president received the representatives on the occasion of the International Roma Day, which is celebrated on April 8 and discussed impacts of the pandemic on this ethnic group with them. BRATISLAVA - The Economy Ministry presented its 12 priorities for the upcoming period at a news conference on Thursday. In addition to completing the construction of the third reactor block of Mochovce nuclear power station, adopting a National Hydrogen Strategy and reducing regulations, the ministry intends to reconstruct Sliac Spa (Banska Bystrica region) and reform economic diplomacy in Slovakia. "We chiefly want to set common rules for all economic diplomats. We want to set the goals they should achieve, we want to set key indicators by which we can assess whether these economic diplomats have been successful or whether they were attending banquets just for the sandwiches," said Economy Minister Richard Sulik (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS). According to Sulik, a change should also be made to the deployment of economic diplomats so that Slovakia's economic representation needn't necessarily overlap with the diplomatic one. ko
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