We can’t have pictures of COVID-19 every day. So instead we’ll try and show the works of Slovenian artists and designers. Today it’s Lara Orel Pogačar, a student at ALUO - Akademija za likovno umetnost in oblikovanje. You can see more of this series of posters here.
Highest increase in coronavirus deaths recorded yesterday
Relaunch of business activities conditional on protective equipment
Police to oversee adherence to epidemic restrictions at weekend
Florist shops and nurseries to reopen today
Govt already working on stimulus package No. 2
STA, 3 April 2020 - Four more deaths related to the new coronavirus in Slovenia were recorded on Thursday, the highest daily increase so far, putting the death toll at 20. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose by 37 to 934, the government has announced.
A total of 1,064 tests were performed yesterday to put the overall number at 25,921. The number of hospitalised persons is at 112, 30 of whom are in intensive care, five have been discharged from hospital, the government said on Twitter.
As many as 135 of Slovenia's 212 municipalities have recorded at least one confirmed infection and 85 recorded two or more cases.
While the capital Ljubljana still has the highest number of cases, at 158, up three in a day, the outbreaks elsewhere are centred around care homes.
The biggest jump in new cases was recorded in Ljutomer in the north-east of the country, by eight to 46. All eight new cases were at the old-age facility there where now 41 are infected.
To contain the spread, fifteen healthy residents of the facility who are able to look after themselves have been moved to be quarantined at the apartments of the tourist complex Bioterme Mala.
The biggest hot spot is at the care home at Šmarje pri Jelšah, where 60 residents and 15 staff were infected according to data as of Wednesday.
Only data for the whole Šmarje pri Jelšah community are available for Thursday showing that the number of infections there rose by four to 116.
Another hot spot is a nursing home in Horjul, a community just west of Ljubljana that saw its tally of cases rise by two to 26 on Thursday.
As of Wednesday 19 of the infected were residents at the nursing home and four were staff, who have been quarantined at home.
Out of seven residents tested on Thursday, two were positive, the Horjul facility manager said on Friday, which would put the total number of the infected there to 21, plus four staff.
The Horjul facility manager said that four of the residents who fell ill with Covid-19 were being treated at hospital.
STA, 3 April 2020 - The government is examining how to gradually restart the economy amidst the lockdown, but in order to do so a sufficient amount of personal protective equipment must be secured, the government's spokesman for the coronavirus epidemic, Jelko Kacin, told the press on Friday. The goal is to domestically produce 100,000 masks daily.
"The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology is prioritising domestic production of protective equipment that would be available to workers," he said, adding that the business sector was behind only healthcare and nursing homes when it came to the distribution of protective equipment.
Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek yesterday visited several companies that produce protective gear. "Our intention is to secure at least 100,000 face masks daily from local production." The number has already been achieved, Kacin said, but added that "demand will be high".
Počivalšek yesterday visited Prevent&Deloza, a maker of protective equipment that he said is already producing 10,000 washable face masks daily according to a design approved by UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest hospital.
Several other companies that do not specialise in protective equipment have started producing masks in recent weeks, including car upholstery maker Boxmark in Kidričevo, which produces over 6,000 face masks daily for the national stockpile, and several other major textile companies which have not disclosed their output.
Dozens of small sewing businesses around the country have joined the effort as well and many municipalities have already started distributing face masks to residents, usually of the washable variety.
At the same time, efforts continue on an ongoing basis to secure enough protective equipment for the hospital setting.
Počivalšek said on Twitter today that a million three-layer masks had just been delivered to the Commodity Reserves Institute's main warehouse in Ljubljana. Earlier this week a million surgical masks and 200,000 of the higher-grade FFP2 masks had been delivered from Czechia.
STA, 3 April 2020 - Starting today and all through Sunday, the police will be preventing people from gathering in public places and controlling whether they leave their place of residence. This comes after tourist destinations were overflowing last weekend and the government decided to restrict movement to place of residence in an effort to rein in Covid-19 contagion.
The police said on its website last night that adhering to the restrictions in place is of utmost importance for the benefit of everybody.
The oversight will be conducted on motorways and other roads, as well as in other locations, especially near popular destinations.
STA, 3 April 2020 - Florist shops and nurseries will reopen on Friday, a day after the government decided to add them to the list of exemptions to restrictions that shut down most non-essential businesses in Slovenia in the face of the coronavirus epidemic. Moreover, construction work where there is no contact to the client will also be allowed from Friday.
The government decided to allow florists' and nurseries to reopen because spring is a peak selling time for these businesses that invested a lot of funds and work in growing seedlings and other plants, which would go to waste unless they are sold, the government Communications Office said after a correspondence session on Thursday.
Moreover, construction work will be allowed at construction sites that are not used as living spaces and where the workers have no contact with the clients.
Nevertheless, those involved will be obligated to use face masks and gloves and to keep a safe distance from others.
Consumers can only go to the nearest florist or nursery. If there is no such business in the municipality of their residence, they may cross into another municipality.
STA, 3 April 2020 - The government will discuss on Friday guidelines for a second fiscal stimulus package after its first, EUR 3 billion bill was passed in parliament on Thursday. The new measures will bring some corrections to the law passed yesterday and new measures to address liquidity, investment and employment legislation.
Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj announced at the start of the week that the government was already working on additional measures to mitigate the coronavirus crisis.
"Once we have mitigated the negative consequences of the epidemic, we will encourage the economy, liquidity and investment, with new measures," he said.
The government is examining the proposals put forward by deputy groups to improve the first law, which was adopted in a hurry so it has some flaws, coronavirus crisis spokesperson Jelko Kacin told the press on Friday. "We want to examine, harmonise and prepare these things for the second package."
At the same time the government is examining possible measures to boost the economy's liquidity, he said, noting these two groups of measures will be "the core of the second package".
The government would like to adopt the second bill in ten days, and then immediately send it to parliament, he explained at today's first government media briefing.
The government will be helped by the advisory task force led by economist Matej Lahovnik, which also advised it on the first package, according to economist Marko Jaklič, a member of the task force.
He said the task force had split into three groups - one focusing on liquidity, another on labour market and flexicurity and the third one on investment.
The liquidity group has already embarked on work so the set of measure to boost liquidity of Slovenian companies should be ready shortly, he told the Odmevi news show on public broadcaster TV Slovenija last evening.
The second group will draft measures that are to address the challenges on the labour market after 1 June, according to Jaklič.
The measures featured in the EUR 3 billion coronavirus law passed yesterday are valid from mid-March when the epidemic was declared until end-May, possibly a month longer.
Trade unions are however upset that the government continues to ignore social dialogue.
The ZSSS association thus urged Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj today to involve the Economic and Social Council, the country's main industrial relations forum, in drafting the new measures, at least those related to the labour market.