Slovenia officially confirms first case of UK coronavirus variant
LJUBLJANA - The first case of the highly transmissible UK coronavirus variant has been officially confirmed in Slovenia in a Kosovo national with temporary residence in Slovenia who arrived from Belgium, PM Janez Janša announced. The man does not appear to have had contact with other people. "If that is indeed the case, the risk was not big," he added. In addition to the first confirmed case, another two cases of UK coronavirus variant are suspected as a result of the testing of 80 Slovenian samples, said Janša, who added it was possible the UK variant has been in circulation in Slovenia for a while. The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) now plans to retroactively check tests from all regions that have come back positive since 11 January, in order to get "a clear enough picture" of the potential prevalence of the UK variant.
537 new coronavirus infections confirmed, 31 die of Covid-19
LJUBLJANA - A combined 2,975 tests for the novel coronavirus were performed in Slovenia on Saturday to result in 537 new confirmed infections, the government said. Of the 2,140 PCR tests, 503 came back positive for a positivity rate of 23.5%, down three percentage points compared to Friday. Only 34 out of the 835 rapid antigen tests were positive, the rate dropping slightly compared to Friday to 4.1%. The number of hospitalised patients was up by 20 to 1,149, of whom 190 required intensive care, two fewer than the day before. A total of 36 patients were discharged from hospital on Saturday. A total of 31 Covid-19 patients died yesterday to bring the total death toll to 3,360.
Almost 60% would get vaccinated in latest POP TV poll
LJUBLJANA - A public opinion poll commissioned by the commercial broadcaster POP TV shows that almost 60% of the respondents would probably or very probably get vaccinated against Covid-19, which is three times more than last October. In the poll involving 501 people and conducted by the pollster Mediana, almost 60% of the respondents think that Covid-19 vaccination should be mandatory for employees in community health centres, hospitals and care homes. Almost 47% of the respondents support the idea to introduce a vaccination passport. Some 22% of the respondents who are against Covid-19 vaccination would get vaccinated if this would enable them to travel.
Kustec presenting presidency priorities in education to EU bodies
LJUBLJANA - Education Minister Simona Kustec has started her official presentations of the programme of Slovenia's EU presidency in education, science, sport and youth policies to the European Commission and European Parliament, expressing among other things the intention for decisions on remote learning to be adopted. In the past week, the minister spoke with European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and the chair of the European Parliament's Industry Committee Cristian Silviu Busoi. Next Monday, Kustec will also talk with the chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education Sabine Verheyen.
Slovenia out of handball worlds after a draw with hosts Egypt
CAIRO, Egypt - Slovenia are out of the World Men's Handball Championship as they played out a 25:25 draw with the hosts Egypt in the last match of the main round, squandering a four-goal lead from the end of the first half. Slovenia had been decimated ahead of the decisive match, with some players being out due to sickness, and the appearance of captain Jure Dolenec being in doubt because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Ljubomir Vranješ said Slovenia had not had their day today and that, if everything was normal, Slovenia would won the match. The next campaign for SLovenia are the qualifiers for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which Slovenia will play in Germany on 12-14 March.
Biathlete Fak third in World Cup mass start event in Italy
ANTERSELVA, Italy - Slovenia's Jakov Fak finished third in the men's Biathlon World Cup mass start to announce good form ahead of the Biathlon World Championships, which will take place in Slovenia's Pokljuka on 9-21 February. Finishing ahead of the 33-year-old were Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, currently the best biathlete in the world, and Quentin Fillon Maillet of France. "I'm very happy with today's performance. I'm finally again on the podium after two long seasons. This is a very good feeling ahead of the World Championships," Fak told the press after getting podium finish number 26 in his career.
Norway's Kvandal win individual World Cup event in Ljubno
LJUBNO OB SAVINJI - After Slovenia won the team Ski Jumping World Cup event for women on Saturday, Ema Klinec finished second in today's individual event behind Eirin Maria Kvandal of Norway. Joining them on the podium with the third place is Marita Kramer of Austria. Klinec was first after the first round, but Kvandal managed a much longer jump in the second to claim her first win in the World Cup. The 22-year-old Slovenian is yet to earn her first World Cup win while she has already rung up 12 podium finishes in her career.