Coronavirus & Slovenia, Mon 05/10: 75 New Cases on 1,034 Tests; Numbers Show Covid’s Impact on Ljubljana Tourism

By , 05 Oct 2020, 12:29 PM Politics
Coronavirus & Slovenia, Mon 05/10: 75 New Cases on 1,034 Tests; Numbers Show Covid’s Impact on Ljubljana Tourism covid-19.sledilnik.org

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STA, 5 October 2020 - Slovenia recorded 75 new coronavirus cases from 1,034 tests carried out on Sunday, and another fatality as hospitalisations and intensive care cases climbed further, data from the government show.

The latest figures bring Slovenia's overall tally of cases to 6,573 and the death toll from Covid-19 to 156. There are just over 2,100 active cases, according to tracker site covid-19.sledilnik.org.

The number of patients hospitalised with the novel disease rose by six to 107, with 21 requiring intensive treatment, that is five more than the day before. Eight patients were discharged yesterday.

Government spokesman Jelko Kacin noted that the lower daily case count was due to fewer tests taken, warning that the rate of positive tests remained high, at 7.25% on Sunday after 8.6% the day before.

Moreover, compared to the Sunday a week ago, the number of daily cases rose by 50%, from 50 to 75.

He declared that Tuesday will be the "day of truth". If infections increase further and the trend cannot be contained, "it's very likely we'll have to present certain measures".

He referred to possible measures announced by the government's chief Covid-19 advisor, Bojana Beović, who has talked of a new cap on gatherings and number of people allowed inside shops and bars.

"Her projections are realistic. It's not a measure that would take us days to prepare," said Kacin, suggesting gatherings in private and public places would be limited to ten people flat except when a higher number is sanctioned explicitly by the National Institute of Public Health.

Hospital capacities are becoming stretched due to the rising number of Covid-19 patients, coupled with infections emerging at non-Covid units.

UKC Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest hospital, said today that ten patients and ten staff at the vascular disease unit have tested positive, so they will no longer admit patients there this week.

Meanwhile, one infection has been confirmed in the past days at the UKC Ljubljana's pulmonary disease and allergy unit, where the situation will continue to be monitored.

The UKC Department of Infectious Disease, Slovenia's main Covid-19 treatment facility, is moving non-Covid patients to the Peter Držaj hospital in the Šiška borough, thus freeing up 19 beds at the regular unit and ten intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients.

Coronavirus depresses Ljubljana tourism

STA, 5 October 2020 - Ljubljana, which has become Slovenia's top tourist destination in the past decade, has suffered a significant blow this year, as the coronavirus pandemic suspended air travel. This summer, the capital recorded a total of 160,341 overnight stays, 75% less than last summer.

Director of the Turizem Ljubljana agency Petra Stušek has told the STA that the number of overnight stays in the first eight months of the year reached 425,178, while the number reached 335,132 in August last year alone.

Ljubljana usually draws a great number of foreign tourists, while Slovenians are more likely to stay away. However, this July and August the share of overnights by Slovenians went to 14% from 2.1% in the same period last year. Most overnights were still generated by foreigners: Germans, Italians, Dutch, French and Austrians.

Following the coronavirus lockdown in spring, seven of the city's 44 hotels remained closed due to the drop in visitors, said Stušek, adding that vacancy capacities were down 16% this summer.

Of the 22 hotels included in the agency's basic statistics, 16 are open at the moment, providing 3,873 of the total of 5,022 beds, she added.

"The future depends on a number of factors: epidemiological situation in Slovenia and in our close markets, border regimes, quarantine orders, air traffic and aid from the state," she said.

Meanwhile, the hotels have largely managed to avoid cancellation of conferences planned in Ljubljana this year, with most being postponed to next year, said Stušek.

Even though hybrid events are becoming a trend for scientific and expert events, Stušek believes that in-person events still have a future, as direct personal contact is an important factor.

Stušek also expressed the wish that Slovenia increase the cap on the number of people at gatherings. "Organisers know each participant and are very eager to see participants arrive and leave the event healthy, because this will affect all future events and thus their livelihoods."

Turizem Ljubljana is planning a number of events for this autumn and winter, all in line with the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health (NIJZ). In November, Gourmet Ljubljana will take place as a series of small events, while December will feature winter holiday events.

Stušek said that the city wanted to see as many events as possible take place, as it tries to attract guests from Slovenia, as well as Italy, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia.

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