STA, 22 February 2021 - Slovenia logged 247 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, three more than the same day a week ago, as eight patients with Covid-19 died. The 7-day average of new cases stayed level at 744, fresh government figures show.
The latest cases were confirmed from 1,428 PCR tests, for a positivity rate of 17.3%. In addition, 8,551 rapid antigen tests were also performed.
The number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 rose by 18 to 584 after 39 patients were admitted and 13 discharged yesterday. The number of patients in intensive care units rose by two to 104.
For a further easing of coronavirus restrictions, hospitalisations would have to fall below 500 and the 7-day average of new confirmed cases below 600.
The cumulative 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents was at 522 and the 7-day incidence at 248 on Sunday, show data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), released by the government.
Region-wise, the highest incidence remains in the south-western region of Obalno-Kraška, the 14-day figure being at 744 and the 7-day at 400 per 100,000 residents.
Commenting on the situation at the daily press briefing, Health Ministry State Secretary Alenka Forte noted that tourism destinations and shopping centres were very busy at the first weekend since travel across the country was allowed.
She appealed to the public to pick the destinations of their trips wisely and opt for less busy spots and not to become "too relaxed" about precautionary measures.
Forte was "very happy" about the falling hospitalisations and deaths, setting out an exit strategy for hospitals.
"We're currently in the first phase of the exit strategy when hospitalisations fall under 700. Covid bed capacities of all hospitals are reduced to 10% of all bed capacities, except for the Golnik hospital, where the percentage is 15%," she said.
In addition Topolšica and Sežana hospitals are no longer Covid hospitals and have resumed their regular services.
In the second phase, when country-wide Covid-19 hospitalisations fall below 500, the hospitals in Ptuj, Slovenj Gradec, Trbovlje, Brežice and Izola will no longer be Covid hospitals and will resume their regular programme and the Jesenice hospital will close its Covid unit due to renovation.
In the third phase, as Covid hospitalisations fall below 250, only UKC Ljubljana and UKC Maribor, Golnik and the hospitals in Celje, Novo Mesto and Nova Gorica will continue as Covid hospitals.
Only the two medical centres and Golnik clinic will continue to treat Covid patients when their number falls below 100 and if the number is even lower, Golnik will no longer have intensive care beds for Covid patients.
Emergency wards in all hospitals will keep so-called "grey zones" to isolate patients suspected to be infected with coronavirus. If they test positive, the patients will be relocated following the exit strategy.
Slovenia has so far reported 185,013 coronavirus cases, with an estimated 11,014 active infections, data from the NIJZ show.
According to tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org, a total of 3,784 Covid-19 patients have died.
More than 94,300 people received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and nearly 50,000 received both jabs by Sunday.
The latest data on coronavirus and Slovenia