STA, 1 November 2020 - There were 1,342 new Sars-CoV-2 infections confirmed in Slovenia on Saturday, a continuation of the slightly declining daily cases count, albeit on a slightly scaled down weekend testing figure of 4,807. The 28% positivity rate is on par with that seen in recent days. A record 25 fatalities were recorded, raising the death toll to 363.
The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients has increased by 5.4% to 821 and the number of those in intensive care by 7.4% to 131. The number of patients on ventilators grew by 5 to 70.
Since the start of the epidemic Slovenia has recorded 35,649 cases, of which 22,501 are currently active, while the rolling 14-day average has increased by 2.8% 1,074 per 100,000 residents, according to data tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik.
"The daily incidence is growing, but at a slower pace. Gorenjska remains the worst affected region," government spokesperson Jelko Kacin tweeted on Sunday.
All our stories on Slovenia and coronavirus – the most important is from a few days ago: Most anti-corona restrictions extended by a week, some by two weeks
STA, 31 October 2020 - Slovenia confirmed 1,796 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, on a par with the day before. A total of 6,710 tests were carried out, meaning that the positivity rate dropped to 26.8% from 28.2% the day before, the government's coronavirus spokesman Jelko Kacin announced on Twitter.
The number of tests has been gradually declining in recent days after it was decided to scale back testing to focus on the most vulnerable groups, most notably the elderly and health staff. Friday's test total is roughly ten percent below the daily peak.
Related, from yesterday: Most anti-corona restrictions extended by a week, some by two weeks
Epidemiologist Bojana Beović, the head of the government's medical task force for coronavirus, noted that the number of tests remained high despite the recommendation to adjust testing and was still "fairly reliable," meaning that the figures serve as an indicator of the state of the epidemic.
Hospital admissions continue to surge. There are currently 779 people in hospital, up from 703 the day before, while the number of patients in intensive care remained level at 122.
Beović said the growth was expected given the scale of confirmed infections. The figure is expected to continue rising and is projected to peak at around 1,200 if the containment measures are successful. The projected peak number of ICU patients is in the 200-300 range.
Another 23 people have died, 15 in hospital and eight at nursing homes, according to Kacin.
Since the start of the epidemic Slovenia has logged over 34,000 cases, of which 21,885 are currently active, while the rolling 14-day average has increased to 1,044 per 100,000 residents according to data tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik.
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STA, 31 October 2020 - Slovenia had a population of 2,100,126 as of 1 July, the first time that the official figure has exceeded 2.1 million, show the latest statistics. The steady increase in the population has been driven by immigration.
The number of Slovenian citizens has been decreasing for a decade and in the first half of this year it dropped by 1,900 (0.1%) from the start of the year to 1,937,560.
The number of foreign citizens rose by 6,200 (4%) to 162,536 and they now account for 7.7% of the country's population.
There were 51.1% of women in the entire population, a share that has been slowly dropping for many years since the majority of immigrants are men; among foreign citizens residing here, only 33.6% are women.
STA, 30 October 2020 - Slovenia recorded 1,798 infections on a slightly scaled-down testing on Thursday, and another 23 fatalities among patients with Covid-19, the highest daily death toll yet, data from the government show.
A total of 6,368 tests were performed in Slovenia yesterday, just over a thousand fewer than the day before, when 2,488 came back positive. This means that the positivity rate fell to 28.23% from almost 35%.
Hospitalisations have risen to 703, from 660 the day before, and the number of patients requiring intensive care increased by 13 to 122, putting a further strain on hospitals. On the positive side, forty patients were discharged home yesterday.
With another 23 fatalities, the national Covid-related death toll has risen to 315.
The latest cases bring Slovenia's case count to 32,503 and the number of active cases to 20,980, while the rolling 14-day average has increased to 1,001 per 100,000 residents, according to tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.
Commenting on the latest figures, Health Ministry State Secretary Tina Bregant said it was an "indication that the effect of the measures has kicked in".
However, despite the fall in the test positivity rate, she said the rate was still "extremely high" so it was essential for everyone to keep sticking to the restrictions, which the government has extended for another week, for the country to come out of the woods.
She said the slow-down in the outbreak was not sufficient yet, while the real indication of when the effect of lockdown restrictions kicked in, would be when the situation began to improve in hospitals.
Thanking the hard-working health staff and everyone involved in the effort, she said they needed "all the support we can give them" as she appealed to everyone to bear with the restrictions and projected a "few more difficult days ahead".
She would not say whether the extension of measures for a week would be enough, appealing for patience, which she said turned out to be as important as quick action in response to the pandemic.
Similarly, government spokesman Jelko Kacin said there was a "key race against the time" in hospitals at the moment as capacities are being expanded to be able to admit an expected surge in Covid-19 patients and save lives.
He said it was too early to say the situation was stabilising, so it was essential that people should stay at home and avoid any socialising whatsoever.
STA, 30 October 2020 - The government has extended key measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in line with its policy of periodically checking the efficacy of measures based on input by an expert task force for coronavirus.
Most notably, store closures and the six-person ceiling for gatherings have been extended by a week. Mandatory masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces and mandatory use of hand sanitizers have been extended by two weeks.
The decision was made by the government at a correspondence session on Friday.
STA, 30 October 2020 - Mario Fafangel, the head of the infectious diseases centre at the National Institute of Public Health, has warned in a televised interview that Slovenia is not out of the woods yet, even though coronavirus figures for Thursday might be lower than in the past two days.
In Thursday's interview with Odmevi, the late night news show on TV Slovenija, Fafangel commented on fresh figures showing that by late evening the number of positive tests had been at around 1,100 after over 2,600 on Tuesday and just below 2,500 on Wednesday, but he said the figure was not one that should make headlines.
"It could be that the figures are down even when an epidemic is in full swing. They fall because testing capacities have been exceeded, which has happened with us; because the testing protocol is changed, which has happened with us. People may take fright and don't get tested when their symptoms are still mild. So it would be a bit too early to talk of a light at the end of the tunnel," he said.
However, he said the headline making news today was no longer the daily figure, but rather the news was that people should stay at home, work from home, whenever possible. "Let's be in the bubble with our dearest, those without whom life wouldn't be worthwhile anyway. That's the news."
Fafangel agreed with the host that there was optimism in the Jožef Stefan Institute's projection yesterday that Covid-19 hospitalisations could fall after 4 November and intensive care numbers after 10 November if people stay at home.
Commenting on a rapid increase in infections among 35-45-year-olds and among teens, Fafangel said it reflected the spread of the virus within the most active groups of population, but it was good news epidemiologically in that it meant the older, most vulnerable group of population was being well protected, which was also evident from the number of fatalities.
Slovenia ranks 7th in the EU by the rolling 14-day average per 100,000 residents, at 1,230, while it places 16th by the number of deaths among patients with Covid-19, at 138 per million.
The incidence number says that no European country has been successful in grappling with the virus, says Fafangel, but he sees "something positive" in the fatality figure: "In the first wave we defended ourselves well, we're defending ourselves well this time, that is protecting the population most at risk."
He said that the National Institute of Public Health had joined the EUROMOMO portal that makes estimates on excess deaths on a weekly basis with the latest data for week 43 showing that Slovenia does not have a typical excess of deaths.
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STA, 30 October 2020 - Following a meeting of the government and its Covid-19 task force on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Janez Janša tweeted in the early hours of Friday that anti-corona measures are to be extended for a week as projections show that case and hospitalisation figures are expected to keep growing for at least some time.
"However, if we are consistent and we all support health workers' efforts by acting responsibly, we can expect a gradual relaxing [of the restrictions] in between seven and ten days," said the prime minister.
Število obolelih za #COVID19 bo glede na projekcije žal vsaj še nekaj časa naraščalo. Ukrepi bodo zato podaljšani za teden dni. A če bomo dosledni in bomo vsi z odgovornim obnašanjem podprli napore zdravstvenih delavcev, lahko čez 7 do 10 dni pričakujemo postopno sproščanje. pic.twitter.com/Qf9WItRLeQ— Janez Janša (@JJansaSDS) October 29, 2020
More details about the week-long extension of the measures will be presented by relevant ministers at today's briefing, according to the government's spokesman Jelko Kacin.
It seems that a 9pm-6am curfew, a ban on movement between municipalities and a cap on gatherings of more than six people will remain in force next week.
Children are not expected to return to schools yet. However, it is yet unclear whether remote learning will be re-introduced or whether the autumn holidays will be extended.
A total of 2,488 new infections were confirmed on Wednesday and as much as 109 Covid-19 patients needed intensive care. The government's chief Covid-19 adviser Bojana Beović said that day that it would be sensible the measures last 28 days to show their efficiency.
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STA, 30 October 2020 - The autumn holidays will be extended for a week for the pupils of primary schools in Slovenia, the government spokesman Jelko Kacin told TV Slovenija on Friday. Remote schooling will resume in secondary schools, and kindergartens will continue providing only urgent daycare. All other restrictions remain in force as well.
Primary and secondary schools have holidays this week and primary schools pupils will remain at home next week due to the epidemiological situation in the country.
The extension aims to limit contact and hence stem the spread of coronavirus, government spokesman Jelko Kacin and Education Minister Simona Kustec said on Friday.
Kustec said the decision was informed by messages from primary school head teachers, who reported many coronavirus patients in the ranks of the teaching staff. The one-week extension will give them time to recover and reorganise.
Head teachers at secondary schools, on the other hand, proposed that classes continue remotely since they are well prepared for remote schooling.
Kustec said the missed primary school classes will be held through the remainder of the year and an extension of the school year was not currently on the table.
Since the start of this week kindergartens have been providing daycare only for children whose parents work and cannot secure daycare.
Since kindergartens are officially run by local communities, mayors have been given discretion to keep them open in the event of urgency, and this system remains in place for now.
More than 90% of kindergarten children stayed home or were put in other forms of care this week.
Universities switched to mostly remote classes at the start of the academic year and classes will continue according to the guidelines that they have put in place.
Kustec said the move was designed to "contribute to the situation calming down". "We need optimism and the feeling of normalcy," she said.
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STA, 29 October 2020 - Slovenia's coronavirus total has passed 30,000 and the number of active infections exceeded 20,000 after the country reported a further 2,488 cases for Wednesday.
Data presented by government spokesman Jelko Kacin at a briefing, show 7,202 Sars-CoV-2 tests were performed in the country yesterday, which means 34.55% of all tests came back positive, roughly on a par with the rate the day before when the daily infections tally hit a record of 2,605.
In another worrying milestone, the number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 in intensive care units exceeded 100, at 109, ten more than the day before, as hospitalisations rose to 660, 48 more than the day before, despite 47 being discharged home, according to Kacin.
The latest cases bring Slovenia's case count to 30,703 and the number of active cases to 20,016, while the rolling 14-day average has increased to 955 per 100,000 residents, according to tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.
Another eight patients with Covid-19 died in hospitals and six in care homes yesterday, that is a total of 14, which brings the national Covid-related death toll to 292.
Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said the latest data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) showed 748 of a total of some 19,000 residents in the country's 102 aged-care facilities were currently infected, with two-thirds of the homes having had infections, most of them just one or two.
According to Kacin, of the latest infections, 337 were confirmed in Ljubljana, 80 in Velenje and 79 in Maribor.
The worst affected region remains Gorenjska in the north-west, where nearly 20% of all new infections were recorded; 132 in Kranj, 66 in Škofja Loka, 51 in Tržič, 48 in Radovljica, 31 in Jesenice, 26 in Bled and 19 in Bohinj. Its 14-day average per 100,000 was 1,626 as of 27 October.
The other most affected regions are Koroška in the north and central Slovenia, epidemiologist with NIJZ Nuška Čakš Jager reported.
She noted a considerable increase in infections among the 35-45-year-olds, with the share of infected women across all age groups higher than the proportion of infected men.
Meanwhile, infectiologist Mateja Logar of the Ljubljana UKC's department of infectious diseases said that all IUC beds for Covid-19 patients were full.
Of 163 Covid-19 patients hospitalised at UKC Ljubljana this morning, 35 were in intensive care, she said, adding that work was under way to secure more beds, but the problem was staff.
This is why employees from ICUs where less critical patients are being treated are being reassigned to Covid-19 intensive care units.
When another ten ICU beds set up at the hospital in the Šiška borough are full, Covid-19 patients will be moved to the ORL department, while construction work is under way to adapt the emerging diagnostic and therapeutic centre into a Covid-19 treating facility. The work there should be completed in ten days.
STA, 28 October 2020 - A total of 2,605 infections were confirmed in nearly 7,500 Covid-19 tests in Slovenia on Tuesday. Both figures mark the highest daily values since the start of the epidemic. The previous daily record was just short of 2,000 and was reached last Friday.
The week-on-week comparison shows that the pace of increase may be starting to slow down. While weekly increases of 100% were the norm in the past two weeks, on Monday and Tuesday they were at 87% and 73%, respectively.
Almost 35% of all tests came back positive on Tuesday, the highest rate so far. The 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population, an EU-wide benchmark, is currently at 872, according to Jelko Kacin, the government's Covid-19 spokesman.
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 rose to 612, as 113 were newly admitted on Tuesday and 54 discharged from hospital.
The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care rose by 12 to 99, with 57 needing a ventilator to breathe.
Seven people died in hospital yesterday and another seven at nursing homes, putting the national death toll at 278, according to the covid-19.sledilnik.org tracker site.
Seven people died in hospital yesterday. Kacin said fatality data from nursing homes was not yet processed, which means the final figure for the day cannot be determined yet.
There are now an estimated 18,269 active cases in the country out of a total of 28,208 infections since the start of the epidemic.
Kacin said that an average delay of two days is occurring in the notification of individuals who tested positive, as epidemiologists cannot keep up with the large rise in new infections.
Asked about potential new restrictive measures, he announced the government would decide on what is a very likely "prolongation of a number of measures" on Thursday.
On the same day a meeting will take place at the European level and the government will decide on further steps after it. Individual measures will be presented on Friday.
Kacin announced a decision on whether children return to schools after this week's autumn holidays would be taken by the government on Thursday evening at the latest.
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STA, 27 October 2020 - Monday's tally of new coronavirus infections in Slovenia reached 1,499 as 5,756 tests were carried out. Five Covid-19 patients died in hospital, while there is no data yet for care homes, coronavirus spokesperson Jelko Kacin told the press on Tuesday.
The number of active infections was at 16,347 on Monday, when 85 new patients were admitted to hospital, data on the national tracker site shows.
There are 560 coronavirus patients currently in hospital, up from 523 the day before. As many as 86 are in intensive care, up four, of whom 57 on a ventilator, the same as the day before.
Over the past two weeks, 780 people per 100,000 residents fell ill with coronavirus, up from 727 yesterday, according to covid-19.sledilnik.org.
Since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Slovenia on 4 March, almost 25,580 infections have been confirmed.
The tracker site shows that 256 deaths have been recorded since the start of the epidemic, but it also says that only five people died yesterday.
The latest data presented at today's news conference is meanwhile 13, so the final death tally should be 264.
Kacin said the situation at hospitals was serious, with the number of hospitalisations doubling in slightly more than a week and expected to keep rising for a while.
UKC Ljubljana, the largest hospital in the country, has 140 Covid-19 patients, of whom 29 in intensive care, said Mateja Logar from the Clinic for Infectious Diseases.
The hospital has been expanding the number of its coronavirus beds, but they will eventually be forced to stop expanding as they are bound to run out of staff, she explained.
She said that Covid-19 patients are in hospital an average 10 to 14 days, but several weeks in intensive care.
Logar urged people to help stop the spread of the virus by observing all the restrictive measures, just like they did in spring. "Only in this way will be make it."
Patients in intensive care are 65 years old on average, the youngest being only 42.
A 33-year-old patient is being treated in an ordinary Covid-19 department, while there are also two children and a pregnant women who need air support to breathe.
STA, 27 October 2020 - A third of Slovenians think that government measures equally take into account health and the economy, whereas almost a third believe that health is overly in focus at the cost of the economy, shows a survey by Mediana. A quarter said they trusted no one regarding information about coronavirus, whereas a quarter trust expert Bojana Beović.
More than 20% believe that the measures are too focused on boosting the economy at the cost of public health. The responses are similar to those given in a July survey featuring the same questions.
Some 82% think that the coronavirus crisis will have serious economic consequences and around 77% believe that teleworking will be on the rise.
When it comes to grave financial impact on individuals, 40% think that they will experience them personally. Almost half say that Slovenians will start turning to local producers more, almost a 10% decrease on July.
A quarter has zero trust in anyone regarding coronavirus information. Among experts, Bojana Beović, the government's main Covid-19 adviser, enjoys most trust - a quarter of Slovenians trust her. Some 15% trust doctors and epidemiologists, whereas the government's spokesman Jelko Kacin enjoys trust of almost 15%.
He is followed by Milan Krek, the head of the National Institute of Public Health (some 12%), Prime Minister Janez Janša (about 9%), infectologist Mateja Logar (6%), and Health Minister Tomaž Gantar (5%).
At the bottom of the ranking are the media, the government and trust in oneself.
The online survey was conducted between 2 and 4 October among 505 adults.
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STA, 26 October 2020 - Despite slowed down testing on Sunday, Slovenia registered 1,116 new coronavirus cases as over 30% of the tests returned positive results, the highest rate yet. The country reported seven more Covid-related deaths in hospitals.
Presenting fresh data at Monday's press briefing, government spokesman Jelko Kacin said the number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 has risen to 523, from 508 the day before.
The number of those in intensive care units rose by 11 to 82.
The latest infections bring the national coronavirus case count to over 24,000, of which 15,247 are active cases, according updated data on the tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.
The Covid-related death toll has increased to 251.
The rolling 14-day average of cases per 100,000 residents is now 727, according to the tracker site, which shows 1,130 new cases for Sunday, after Kacin previously reported 1,116.
A total of 3,682 tests were performed on Sunday, which compares to 5,776 on Saturday and 7,025 on Friday, when daily case tallies hit 1,675 and 1,961, respectively, the latter a record high.
Kacin said the situation was worst in the north-western region of Gorenjska, where 43% of all tests were positive. The region has 1,265 infections per 100,000 residents.
Ljubljana recorded 190 new cases on Sunday, where the rate of infection is now 0.705%. Higher rates are reported by the municipalities of Odranci (3.467%) and Kuzma (3.748%) in the north-east, and Železniki (2.657%) and Škofja Loka (2.042%) in the north-west.
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STA, 25 October 2020 - Prime Minister Janez Janša has announced a ban on movements between municipalities will be imposed for the whole country starting from Tuesday in response to the surge in coronavirus. [Ed. Assume this means from midnight Monday]
"The restriction will be initially in force for 7 days for the whole country, and will be eased gradually by regions that will first curb the epidemic," Janša said on his Twitter profile.
"Let's do everything to limit contacts to the minimum and so that restrictions can be lifted as soon as possible. Protect lives, health and prosperity," reads Janša's tweet with the hashtag We Can Do It.
Janša said that exceptions to the ban outside the municipality of residence would as those valid during a similar ban in spring.
The exceptions are thus expected to be similar as for the ban on movements between regions already in force and include commute to work, travel for the purposes of business, farming, access to health services and pharmacies, caring for or assisting a close relative, and seeing to a property.
In justifying the ban, Janša noted that the numbers of Covid-19 patients are rising, so additional measures were being imposed from the government plan to control the epidemic.
Janša referred to an earlier announcement by Health Minister Tomaž Gantar that more tan 700 beds for Covid-19 patients would soon be ready with talks under way to secure a further 300 if necessary.
"Activities to secure healthcare capacities continue uninterruptedly. Including in spas and hotels. No need for tents and fairgrounds," Janša said.
The latest government data show that there are currently 508 patients hospitalised with Covid-19, including 71 in intensive care units.
Slovenia reported 1,675 new coronavirus cases for Saturday for the total case count of 22,952, as the number of active cases increased to 14,288. The death toll increased by six to 241.
The spring ban on movements between municipalities has been challenged at the Constitutional Court, which has given its clearance for the measure.
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