COVID-19 & Slovenia, Afternoon 6 April: Numbers, Epidemic Easing, 70 New Ventilators

By , 06 Apr 2020, 14:53 PM Politics
COVID-19 & Slovenia, Afternoon 6 April: Numbers, Epidemic Easing, 70 New Ventilators Damjan Tomažin

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Coronavirus death toll in Slovenia rises to 30 as infections top 1,000

Health official says epidemic easing but much still depends on people's behavior

Hospitals in Slovenia got nearly 70 new ventilators last week

Coronavirus death toll in Slovenia rises to 30 as infections top 1,000

STA, 6 April 2020 - Two persons infected with Covid-19 died in Slovenia on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 30. The number of confirmed infections rose by 24 in a day to 1,021, show the latest statistics released by the government.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital rose by six to 114 but is still below the end of March peak of 120. Of those, 30 were in intensive care, one fewer than on Saturday.

A total of 102 persons have recovered enough to be discharged from hospital.

Health authorities have so far performed 28,253 tests, up 489 in a day. While the figure is below the daily average of 1,000-plus, fewer tests are typically performed during weekends.

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Health official says epidemic easing but much still depends on people's behavior

STA, 6 April 2020 - The head of the Koper unit of the the Public Health Institute (NIJZ) Milan Krek told the press on Monday that the current measures had helped turn the curve of new daily Covid-19 cases in Slovenia. He however urged caution, saying future behaviour will determine whether the epidemic calms or cases rise from 1,000 to 10,000.

 Krek assessed at the government's regular briefing that Slovenia would have been looking at 480,000 Covid-19 cases and 90,000 deaths had containment measures not been adopted. Had the epidemic evolved the way it did in Lombardy in neighbouring Italy, 800 people would have died in Slovenian so far as opposed to 30.

"The virus doesn't have legs of wings and cannot spread on its own. It is only people who can allow it to spread by behaving inappropriately and disregarding safe movement rules," he said, urging that these rules continue be observed, or else the curve "can quickly turn into a much worse direction".

Welcoming the lockdown measures currently in place, he noted a seven-day fluctuation pattern in the number of cases, which he said "was the result of imprudent behaviour and travelling during the past weekends".

Krek highlighted the cancellation, at the eleventh hour on 7 March, of a concert by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli scheduled at Ljubljana's Stožice Arena as a major moment.

"We were edging on a disaster which could have started after the concert. The Italian tragedy started at a football match where over 40,000 people came together," he said.

Pointing to a model by a London institute, Krek said a failure to use social distancing would have led to 7 billion infections around the world and 40 million deaths. If key measures are adopted and observed these numbers can be reduced to 2.5 billion and 10 million respectively.

Meanwhile, commenting on opinion discrepancies among experts, including in Slovenia, he said opinions among experts were never uniform. He believes a united position will be reached in the end "so that all is right".

"I do not see the tensions between experts, epidemiologists and within the NIJZ as a problem. It is good that a discussion is developing and that we can talk freely and look for common points," he said.

He also welcomed the much debated government orders for compulsory use of masks indoors and disinfecting of multi-home buildings.

"The stricter the measures, the better, since transmission is reduced. We believe that the current measures suffice, since we are seeing a decline in new daily cases," Krek said.

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Hospitals in Slovenia got nearly 70 new ventilators last week

STA, 6 April 2020 - Slovenia has been acquiring medical and protective equipment to better face the coronavirus epidemic for weeks, with gear coming in also from corporate donors. Last week, the Commodity Reserves Agency delivered 66 mechanical ventilators to hospitals, as well as 1.83 million tri-layer face masks and over 401,000 FFP2 masks.

Economic Development and Technology Minister Zdravko Počivalšek has tweeted that other institutions have also received masks. He is also very excited about the launch of mask production in Slovenia, saying that half a million masks would be produced this week alone.

Last week, the agency delivered 270,000 masks made in Slovenia, as well as more than 10,000 disinfectants and nearly 7,400 items of other equipment, Počivalšek also tweeted today.

Nearly two weeks ago, the government announced that it had ordered, among other things, more than 570 ventilators, which are to be delivered in 60 days.

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