A second case of novel coronavirus infection in Slovenia was confirmed Thursday, Health Minister Aleš Šabeder said, with the person having been in contact with the first patient, who had been detected on Wednesday.
Šabeder said as the health authorities called a press conference to speak about the first case that they had just been informed about a second case, adding that the second patient had been in contact with the first one.
The authorities are rushing to identify other persons who have been in contact with the man who was confirmed as the first COVID-19 case in Slovenia yesterday.
The Ljubljana physician who attended to the patient and sent him in an ambulance vehicle to the UKC Ljubljana hospital to be quarantined in a separate ward, has already been isolated.
The first infected person, identified only as a man aged about 60, had come to Slovenia from Morocco via Italy on a commercial flight on 29 February.
The National Public Health Institute (NIJZ) called on other Slovenian citizens who were on the AT938 Royal Air Maroc flight from Casablanca to the Marco Polo airport in Venice to be careful about signs of infection.
Nina Pirnat of the NIJZ said that the first patient had already had symptoms when he had arrived in Venice, which he had attributed to a recent injury in Morocco.
The man had used a shuttle van to come from Venice to Ljubljana and all persons who travelled with him in the aircraft and the shuttle van will be instructed to see an epidemiologist and get further instructions.
The shuttle operator GoOpti told the STA that a few other persons had travelled with the man, adding that the driver had already been tested and isolated. GoOpti director Marko Guček said that the driver was feeling well and had no signs of infection.
On the evening of the arrival to Slovenia, the first patient visited the Ljubljana emergency ward over the injury, and was then sent home, Pirnat said, adding that he had been in contact with many persons since.
Health Ministry State Secretary Simona Repar Bornšek added that, feeling unwell, the man had visited the community health centre in the south-western Ljubljana borough of Vič. He came unannounced, ignoring all protocols and instructions, she added.