STA, 15 November 2020 - Slovenia recorded 920 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, having performed 3,563 tests. 32 Covid-19 patients died, taking the national death toll to 797, fresh official data show. Hospitalisations continued to rise, however the number of patients in intensive care slightly declined.
Saturday's total of new cases is almost half the figure recorded on Friday, however the number of yesterday's tests is also significantly lower compared to the day before.
On Saturday, the number of hospitalised patients grew by 37 to 1,261. The number of ICU patients meanwhile declined by five to 201. A total of 44 were discharged home, the government reported on Twitter.
So far, Slovenia has recorded 55,042 infections, including 19,381 which are currently active, some 2% down on Friday.
The rolling 14-day average of infections per 100,000 citizens continues to fall, currently standing at 925, according to the national tracker Covid-19 Sledilnik.
The positivity rate was meanwhile almost 26% on Saturday, roughly on par with Thursday's and Friday's figures.
Aleš Rozman, director of the Golnik University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, told the STA today that the current epidemiological situation was difficult to interpret mostly due to changes in the testing protocol in the past fortnight.
He advises steering clear of false optimism. The epidemiological trends should be monitored for another week or two, he added.
"If the number of hospital admissions in the recent days nevertheless mirrors a decline in the number of those that are ill, then that is a good sign," he said, adding that the number of new hospitalisations was stabilising in the past two or three days.
However, what it seems to be a promising trend could be misleading and merely a result of certain Covid-19 patients staying at home instead of being admitted to hospital due to Slovenia running low on hospital capacities.
On the other hand, the epidemic could be truly letting up. If that is the case, Rozman warns that mitigation efforts should not run out of steam either since the country's healthcare capacities have been pushed to their limits.
Rozman, also a member of the government Covid-19 advisory task force, urged citizens to heed prevention protocols 24-7.
"I fail to see why the measures should be loosened when Slovenia has one of the worst situations in the world regarding Covid-19 at the moment," Rozman said.
Visiting the Jesenice general hospital, Prime Minister Janez Janša meanwhile said today that the Gorenjska region needed boosted healthcare capacities as soon as possible and that the government was determined to provide them, according to an announcement on the government's website.
The northern region has been pushing hard for a new regional hospital. The epidemic has further revealed that Gorenjska needs such an upgrade that would increase the number of hospital beds, Robert Carotta, the Covid beds coordinator with the Health Ministry, said a few days ago.
The Jesenice hospital is too small since it only has some 200 functional beds per 130,000 residents, he said. According to the relevant European standards, the hospital would need 600 beds.
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