COVID-19 & Slovenia, Night 3 April 2020: Numbers, Drug Restrictions, MEPs Donate Money, North Macedonia

By , 03 Apr 2020, 21:41 PM Politics
COVID-19 & Slovenia, Night 3 April 2020: Numbers, Drug Restrictions, MEPs Donate Money, North Macedonia Xenia Guzej

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All our stories on coronavirus are here, while those covering covid-19 and Croatia are here. We'll have an update at the end of the day, and if you want newsflashes then we'll post those on Facebook

We can’t have pictures of COVID-19 every day. So instead we’ll try and show the works of Slovenian artists. Today it’s Xenia Guzej. You can see more of her work here.


Highest increase in coronavirus deaths recorded yesterday

Govt restricts use of certain drugs, calls for donations

SDS MEPs donating share of pay for Covid-19 relief, PM urges others to follow suit

Slovenia donates protective equipment to North Macedonia

Highest increase in coronavirus deaths recorded yesterday

STA, 3 April 2020 - Four more deaths related to the new coronavirus in Slovenia were recorded on Thursday, the highest daily increase so far, and another patient died on Friday, increasing the overall death toll to 21. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose by 37 to 934, the government has announced.

The Maribor UKC hospital reported its first Covid-19 deaths today, saying that a patient from a nursing home died at the hospital on Thursday and another patient on Friday. Both were elderly.

"Sadly, I must report the first two fatalities. One is a person who had been in our intensive care unit for a while, and another was moved here yesterday from an old-age home outside our region," UKC Maribor medical director Matjaž Vogrin said.

Details about other fatalities are not available, but the first reported fatalities were residents of nursing homes, which have become the coronavirus hotspot in the country.

Data released by the Health Ministry show that a total of 177 nursing home residents were infected as of Thursday, 15 more than the day before.

Health Ministry data also show that 128 health workers are infected.

As of Thursday, 112 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, 30 of them in intensive treatment units, five were discharged from hospital, the government said on Twitter earlier.

A total of 1,064 tests were performed yesterday to put the overall number at 25,921.

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.

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Govt restricts use of certain drugs, calls for donations

STA, 3 April 2020 - The government has restricted the usage of drugs containing chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin to make sure enough of those substances are available to patients who need them. It has also tasked the Agency for Medicines to call on companies to donate to the public health system drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients.

The government said on Friday that due to the spreading of coronavirus infections the prescribing of medications with the three substances, which are principally used for the treatment of other conditions but have proven to be effective in the treatment of Covid-19, has increased.

Until further notice, prescribing these medications for personal use and their over-the-counter sale will be banned.

Thus, the government wants to make sure that sufficient amounts of drugs containing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are available to patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus, who urgently need them.

The government also wants to prevent the overuse of azithromycin, which could potentially lead to bacteria developing resistance to the drug, and deficiency of the drug on the market.

The relevant decree adopted today will enter into force after it is published in the Official Gazette.

The cabinet also tasked the Agency for Medicines last night to call on companies to donate to the public health system drugs that have proven effective in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

According to the Government Communication Office, the UKC Ljubljana hospital will collect data on the drugs needed at hospitals around the country at least once a month and forward them to the agency to enable optimal distribution, including of donations.

UKC will be collecting data on drugs containing hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir, favipiravir, umipiravir, tocilizumab, systemic interferons/IFN beta-1-alpha, siltuksimab and sarilumab.

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SDS MEPs donating share of pay for Covid-19 relief, PM urges others to follow suit

STA, 3 April 2020 - MEPs Milan Zver and Romana Tomc of the senior coalition Democrats (SDS) announced on Friday they would donate 30% of their pay to fight the Covid-19 disease. Prime Minister Janez Janša responded by praising the move and calling on other Slovenian top officials in EU institutions and around the world to follow their example.

Zver and Tomc (SDS/EPP) decided to give up a share of their pay even though the umbrella anti-crisis law, endorsed on Thursday, does not envisage such pay cuts for MEPs.

"I expect a similar gesture from the rest of Slovenian (and foreign) officials holding well-paid jobs in the EU and around the world," said Janša, who also expects a similar gesture of judges and the editors of major media not affected by the 30% pay cut imposed by the law.

Tomc urged her colleagues and other appointees to EU institutions to join her in this step as well.

Zver explicitly stated on his Twitter account that he would be donating the share as of April and until the end of the epidemic is declared.

Meanwhile, MEP Tanja Fajon (SD/S&D) as well as MEPs Irena Joveva and Klemen Grošelj (RENEW/LMŠ) responded by saying they had not been sharing their donations for coronavirus relief publicly.

Franc Bogovič (SLS/EPP) tweeted that he had made his contribution three weeks ago to a special account of the Red Cross.

"In the meantime I've helped those affected directly. I make monthly transfers (youth charity, UNICEF), I also respond to many charity campaigns. I'll also donate into the budget," tweeted Bogovič, adding that he was not in the habit of making his donations public each time.

Joveva said that she did not need any calls for her previous donations nor would she need them in the future, while Grošelj pointed out that he did not want publicity at the expense of others' distress.

In a Facebook post Joveva said that she and Bogovič had already stated in a web discussion yesterday that they would not have a problem taking a 30% pay cut and were making donations.

Similarly, Milan Brglez (SD/S&D) said that he did not publicly communicate about his donations or charitable activities.

Fajon exchanged a few words with Tomc on Twitter, reminding the SDS MEP that she recently said charity was not charity if it meant publicity. Tomc replied that this was something else because it showed solidarity and highlighted that everybody was in the same boat.

Under the coronavirus umbrella law a 30% pay cut awaits holders of public office in Slovenia, but not mayors and judges.

The Slovenian Association of Judges said earlier this week that it had opened a special account for judges to donate a share of their pay to fight the epidemic.

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Slovenia donates protective equipment to North Macedonia

STA, 3 April 2020 - Slovenia has donated to North Macedonia protective equipment worth EUR 110,000 to help the country fight the new coronavirus, the Slovenian Defence Ministry said on Friday. The package for the Macedonian Interior Ministry includes 100,000 protective masks and 100,000 protective gloves, the Macedonian press agency MIA reported.

"The donation comes at a crucial moment. I'd like to thank Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and our Slovenian friends. Every donation counts and will help our daily efforts to protect police officers working round the clock who are exposed to the risk of infection with the new coronavirus," said Interior Minister Nakje Chulev, who accepted the shipment at Skopje airport today.

Slovenian Ambassador to North Macedonia Milan Jazbec was also present. "I am honoured that we are the first EU and NATO member to have made a bilateral donation to the police force," he was quoted as saying by MIA.

According to the Slovenian Defence Ministry, Slovenia has responded to a request for aid that North Macedonia addressed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chulev said that his ministry was currently focusing on exercising oversight of the implementation of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country, and on providing enough protective gear for its staff.

According to data by the Macedonian Health Ministry, 430 coronavirus infections have so far been recorded in the country, while 13 people have died.

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