Slovak PM says tests positive for Covid-19

Bratislava (AFP) –


Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said Friday he had tested positive for Covid-19, a week after he attended an EU summit in Brussels.

The summit is believed to be where French President Emmanuel Macron caught the virus, leading a host of European leaders and top French officials to go into self-isolation.

"Today, I am one of you," Matovic wrote on his Facebook page, attaching a screenshot of a text message with his test results.

"I was to spend the Christmas holidays helping out at a hospital. Now my plans will likely be a little different," the 47-year-old premier added.

The government's press department told AFP that Matovic had tested positive on Thursday and had since cancelled all his events.

Local media reported that the government had called on all ministers and state secretaries to get tested in response.

Deputy Prime Minister Veronika Remisova and Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad later announced that they were also infected.

Macron and Matovic are the latest heads of state and government around the world to contract the coronavirus, following the likes of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.

Since the pandemic erupted, Slovakia has registered more than 146,000 confirmed infections, including nearly 4,000 new cases on Thursday.

More than 1,400 people have died from the virus in the country of 5.4 million people, including 62 people on Thursday.

New anti-virus measures are due to go into effect in Slovakia on Saturday, including the requirement for non-essential shops to close at 5pm (1600 GMT). Slovaks have also been asked to stay home.

On Friday, the health ministry announced Slovakia will get its first vaccines on December 26 and vaccinations should begin that day or the following.