Slovenia & Coronavirus: Plans for 2nd Wave Discussed, Croatia May Lose Safe Country Status

By , 29 Jun 2020, 13:14 PM Politics
Slovenia & Coronavirus: Plans for 2nd Wave Discussed, Croatia May Lose Safe Country Status Wikimedia CC-by-SA-4.0

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STA, 28 June 2020 - Due to a growing number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in Slovenia in the past few days, the government will hold a session on Sunday evening to discuss a bill that would implement emergency measures dealing with the potential second wave of infections.

Unofficial sources say that the measures will be primarily aimed at preventing large gatherings, reported Radio Slovenija.

The government will hence likely amend the ban on public gatherings. Currently, events and assemblies are capped at 500 persons due to coronavirus contagion risk.

Milan Krek, the head of the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ), told Radio Slovenija that tightening the ban would be one of the key measures that "reduce risk of the new emergence of infections turning into an epidemic wave".

The daily record of confirmed infections with the novel coronavirus dropped to almost zero in mid-May, however the number of cases has been increasing since mid-June. On 22 June, more than ten cases were confirmed in a single day for the first time since 29 April, show NIJZ data.

Nine new cases were confirmed on Saturday after conducting 625 coronavirus tests, with three cases detected in the coastal Koper municipality.

Govt may be forced to de-list Croatia as Covid-19 safe country

STA, 29 June 2020 - The Slovenian government will be forced to de-list Croatia as a Covid-19 safe country on Tuesday if the number of infections there exceeds 10 per 100,000 residents, government spokesman Jelko Kacin announced on Monday. He said that given the coronavirus curve of the last two weeks, this was expected.

Croatia will in that case be placed on the yellow list, meaning that a warning of the danger will be in place for all Slovenians already in Croatia, those planning to go there, and those returning from the country.

They will be urged to keep safety distance while in the country and contact their doctor if they notice any symptoms of Covid-19 when they return to Slovenia.

Kacin noted that Croatia, which has seen a surge in the number of new infections recently, had decided to lift a ban on nightclub partying, a move Slovenia had not opted for even after the epidemic was declared over.

Kacin said a number of Slovenians had bought tickets for a beach party on the island of Pag.

Slovenia is monitoring the situation very closely, he said, adding that there had also been reports of some problems with counting the new cases in Croatia.

"I think there is plenty of reasons for concern and of course to also take action," he told the press.

The two countries' prime ministers, Janez Janša and Andrej Plenković, have already talked about the issue and would further discuss it over the phone later today, Kacin said.

Slovenia expects Croatia to take certain measures to curb the spread of the virus, including close nightclubs and cancel outdoor parties.

As for other countries in the region, Kacin said the number of infections had been rising drastically in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from which 15 cases had been imported to Slovenia.

The outbreak appears to have peaked in North Macedonia, but no infection has come to Slovenia from there, since this was the first country placed on the red list.

In Serbia, many people were infected at a football match, probably more than official figures suggest, commented Kacin, adding that 16 cases had come to Slovenia from there.

Montenegro currently has two major hotspots, one of them being the result of the match in Serbia. The problem with Kosovo, which is also seeing a surge in new cases, is that relatively few tests are conducted there, Kacin noted. Six cases have been imported to Slovenia from there.

In Albania, the number of new infections is also on the rise.

Meanwhile, Kacin highlighted Greece as a stable and safe country.

Out of the total 44 imported cases in June, one each also came from Croatia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Sweden, US, Austria and Germany.

Slovenia places countries on the so-called red list when they have had more than 40 new daily infections per 100,000 inhabitants for the past two weeks. A 14-day quarantine is obligatory for citizens coming from those countries.

Countries seeing more than ten new daily infections per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days are struck from the green list of Covid-19 safe countries and placed onto an intermediate list.

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