COVID-19 & Slovenia: New Limits on Public Gatherings; 4 New Cases Sunday

By , 30 Jun 2020, 06:30 AM Politics
COVID-19 & Slovenia: New Limits on Public Gatherings; 4 New Cases Sunday JL Flanner

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STA, 29 June 2020 - The government lowered the number of persons allowed in public gatherings from 500 to 50 in a correspondence session on Monday. The only exception will be official events licensed by the National Institute of Public Health. The government also indicated stricter oversight of quarantine orders.

 Government spokesperson Jelko Kacin told the press before the government session today that several coronavirus hotspots had emerged recently as a result of parties and other gatherings where social distancing rules had not been observed.

Despite lowering the cap of total attendees, the government will allow the possibility of gatherings of up to 500 people in cases where organisers are able to guarantee social distance and get the go-ahead from NIJZ, like events with seating order and stewardship services. Kacin said that this exception would apply to any rallies.

He was reserved in his answers about parties, but said that "the analysis of the patient's age clearly shows where they socialised. The young socialised at private parties which were also attended by guests from abroad."

The commercial broadcaster POP TV meanwhile reported of a lively night life in Ljubljana. While night clubs remain closed, bars are open late into the night, hosting large numbers of patrons.

When asked what the new restriction would mean for weddings, Kacin said the decision was in the hands of couples. They should decide whether the event can be carried out in line with the restrictions.

He also suggested that vulnerable groups should not attend and that the number of people be kept under 50. "A wedding with an infection is not a lovely thing to remember."

Kacin also said that better oversight of those sent into quarantine is a must in order to contain the spread of the virus.

He was critical of the Health Ministry, saying that quarantine oversight, in the purview of the Health Inspectorate, was "absolutely inadequate".

The speaker said that no inspector should be on vacation. "Oversight is needed now, to see who obeys by their quarantine orders, or else, our hospitals will be bursting at the seams come August," Kacin said.

He also said that a special Covid-19 expert task force had explicitly said that oversight must be boosted, with Kacin expressing hope that Health Minister Tomaž Gantar heard the plea.

The Interior Ministry has offered the Health Inspectorate support in oversight and no health inspector should find themselves in a situation where they do not have police support but need it, said Kacin, but did not mention any specific problems.

Four new coronavirus cases in Slovenia on Sunday

STA, 29 June 2020 - Four new coronavirus infections were confirmed in Slovenia on Sunday, when 300 people took the test. Eight Covid-19 patients were in hospital, none of them in intensive care. No deaths were reported either, the government said on Twitter today.

The latest cases bring the tally of active cases to 89, out of the total of 1,585 so far confirmed.

One of the four new cases was confirmed in Ljubljana and the other three in Ravne na Koroškem. Ljubljana now has 17 active cases and Ravne four, according to the tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.

As many as 64 new cases were confirmed in the past seven days.

Those included two pupils in two different classes at Škofljica Primary School, the municipality just south of Ljubljana.

Information on the school's website shows the school had been notified of the infections Thursday, a day after the end of school year, whereupon it alerted all the parents.

Headteacher Roman Brunšek told the STA today that the infected pupils were from the same family and that their classmates had been ordered to self-isolate, as were the teachers who had been in contact with them for a while.

Meanwhile, news broke in the evening that at least three Covid-19 cases were discovered today among employees of the UKC Maribor hospital.

While the reports have not been confirmed yet, some media reported that three employees of the hospital's emergency ward have all the symptoms of the disease and that intensive contact tracing is under way.

So far 111 Covid-19-related deaths have been confirmed in Slovenia.

There are presently 6,380 people in quarantine in Slovenia, while 7,190 quarantine orders have been issued since the beginning of June, the Health Ministry told the STA.

Quarantine orders can be issued for healthy individuals who have been in close contact with an infected person. Moreover, people entering Slovenia from red-listed countries are also subjected to two weeks of quarantine.

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