Shift in focus
Price caps on protective gear
Coronavirus on Turkish Airlines 1061 flight in Ljubljana on 10 March at 8:45am
Travellers advised to avoid Spain
STA, 14 March 2020 - Slovenia had 181 confirmed coronavirus cases by 2pm on Saturday, up by 40 since Friday, as the number continues to rise sharply.
Regional data show 75 cases confirmed in the general Ljubljana area, 39 in Novo Mesto, 27 in Celje and 13 in Maribor, the government announced on Twitter.
The figures reflect the largest clusters of cases detected so far.
The largest single cluster, numbering 46, is in Ljubljana, and 26 have been infected in Šmarje pri Jelšah, a small community in eastern Slovenia where an outbreak was registered in a primary school.
Metlika has 25 cases associated with a doctor who came to work sick and infected multiple patients and health staff.
STA, 14 March 2020 - Slovenia plans to shift the focus of efforts to fight the coronavirus epidemic from the number of confirmed cases to the number of serious cases, which will allow it to better plan and allocate resources, Prime Minister Janez Janša said on Saturday. The shift will change the way Slovenia reports statistics.
The number of confirmed cases is relative since it depends on the number of tests and how testing is conducted, whereas the number of serious cases who need hospital care affects how the system operates, he said.
But Janša nevertheless warned that the change in what will be considered the benchmark data, which will be used to calculate the number of infections, "does not alter the gravity of the outlook on the situation."
The shift in effect means that Slovenia will no longer report all confirmed cases, it will extrapolate the number of infections from the number of severe cases based on figures available in countries such as China and Italy.
The result will be a range of possible infections, around which work in the healthcare system will be organised, according to Bojana Beović, an infectious disease specialist.
She said Slovenia was at a point in the epidemic at which it is "impossible to determine all contacts infected persons have had or sources of infections," which is why it made sense to direct all the effort into treating persons with the most severe symptoms.
Consequently, persons with respiratory infections will be told to self-isolate for two weeks and will not be tested for coronavirus. Only if they need to be hospitalised will they be tested.
STA, 14 March 2020 - The new government has issued a decree that caps the highest prices of protective personal and medical equipment and agents, and adopted a legal basis to step up measures to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
The decree affects protective and surgical masks, goggles, gloves, protective suits, sanitizers, ventilators, portable oxygen systems and contactless body temperature thermometers.
The prices of these products over the next three months are capped at the highest retail prices in the market at 8am on Saturday.
The government also issued a decision that measures "stipulated in the contagious diseases act for plague or viral haemorrhagic fevers" be applied to fight the COVID-19 epidemic as a novel disease.
The act provides for measures such as epidemic testing, quarantining, inoculation and disinfection.
Once provision provides for a quarantine as a measure to restrict the freedom of movement and impose mandatory health checks of healthy persons suspected to have been in contact with an infectious person.
A quarantine is decreed by the minister of health on the proposal of the National Institute of Public Health and is not appealable.
As the number of coronavirus cases kept rising the former government already declared an epidemic earlier in the week and ordered the closure of all educational institutions from Monday as well as banned public events and urged a scale-down of public life.
Quarantine or self-isolation has so far been ordered only for individuals infected or in contact with coronavirus patients.
The most recent official number available shows that 181 persons had tested positive for coronavirus until 2pm today.
A decree issued by the former Health Minister Aleš Šabeder stepped in force at 7pm on Friday limiting the amount of prescription drugs issued by pharmacies equal to a month's treatment per patient and over-the counter drugs to a packet per person.
Pharmacies that meet the requirements to produce official formula preparations have been ordered to produce sanitisers and disinfectants.
STA, 14 March 2020 - The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has found that a person infected with the novel coronavirus arrived on a Turkish Airlines 1061 flight in Ljubljana on 10 March at 8:45am. Fellow passengers are urged so monitor their condition and to limit their contacts with other people.
"The passengers on that flight are urged to closely monitor their health condition and seek the advice of their doctor over the phone if feeling unwell, have signs of a respiratory infection or fever," the NIJZ said in an urgent appeal.
Even if they do not have any symptoms, the passengers are advised to follow the advice on hygienic measures and to limit their close contacts and reduce social contacts that could lead to them passing potential infection.
The NIJZ detected the infected passenger in looking for contacts of a COVID-19 patient.
STA, 14 March 2020 - The Slovenian Foreign Ministry has issued a travel alert on Saturday advising against all travel to Spain as the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge. All Slovenians in Spain have been advised to return home as soon as possible.
Since some airlines have already cut off links with individual European countries, the ministry said that Slovenian citizens currently in Spain should monitor the situation and contact airlines about their journey.
Spain today reported an increase of over 1,500 confirmed cases on Friday raising its total to 5,753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy.
The ministry again appealed on all Slovenians planning any travel abroad to reconsider their plans and postpone non-essential travel.
The ministry is advising in particular against travel to Italy, Iran, South Korea and China.
As US Donald Trump's travel ban from Europe to the United States has come into force, the Foreign Ministry advised all Slovenian citizens temporarily in the US to immediately return to Slovenia.
They are also being advised to follow the media and the local authorities' instructions, and to brace for potential delays.
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