By: P.T., gov.si
Today’s press conference on the current situation regarding COVID-19 was attended by Nuška Čakš Jager, Deputy Head of the Centre for Communicable Diseases at the National Institute of Public Health, Marta Grgič Vitek, National Vaccination Coordinator at the National Institute of Public Health, and Government spokesperson, Jelko Kacin.
The proportion of positive PCR tests was 37.4 per cent yesterday. Of a total of 6,956 tests, 2,602 were positive. Some 15,238 rapid antigen tests were also performed, of which 752 were positive, i.e. 4.9 per cent. A total of 22,194 tests were thus conducted, of which 3,354, or 15 per cent, were positive.
The Institute of Microbiology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana carried out an analysis to establish whether the UK strain of the virus is also present in Slovenia. According to Kacin, research findings show that, so far, the analyses have not yet confirmed the presence of the relevant strain among the infected persons in Slovenia.
Regarding the number of infections by municipalities, the following were of particular concern yesterday: Celje (68), Velenje (53), Šentjur (41), Žalec (51), Slovenska Bistrica (34), Slovenske Konjice (43), Slovenj Gradec (37), Domžale (55), Grosuplje (41), Ivančna Gorica (49), Kamnik (63), Kranj (84), Cerklje na Gorenjskem (24), Novo mesto (98), Črnomelj (48), Dobrepolje (33), Šmartno pri Litiji (31), Trbovlje (35), Zagorje ob Savi (36), Krško (117), Brežice (67), Sevnica (46), Koper (71), Ljubljana (271), and Maribor (108).
Yesterday, 106 patients were discharged from hospitals, and 114 were admitted. Some 182 patients require intensive care, six fewer than on Monday. A total of 1,177 patients underwent hospital treatment, 16 fewer than on Monday. Unfortunately, 31 people died yesterday; 24 in hospitals and seven in retirement homes.
The epidemiological data was provided by Čakš Jager. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Europe is declining if compared to weeks 51 and 52 in 2020. The most successful countries are Croatia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, followed by Belgium, Romania and Sweden. Slovenia records a minimum decline.
The number of new cases among residents in retirement homes has been reducing on average in recent days. Between 22 December 2020 and 4 January 2021, the National Institute of Public Health recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the 25–34 age group, even more than in the age group of 85 and older which predominated in the last months of 2020, including December.
Regarding new strains, the ECDC claims that it is only known that they spread faster, but no other distinguishing characteristics have been detected.
Čakš Jager asserted that positive rapid tests are usually not verified by additional PCR testing.
Grgič Vitek explained that 33,150 doses of vaccine have been received so far, and 16,575 would be received each Monday.
Up until today, the National Institute of Public Health has received three reports about negative side effects. Regarding the death supposedly related to vaccination, the expert group will announce an opinion quickly, possibly tomorrow. The other two cases involved milder side effects. One reported rashes that quickly subsided. In the second case, pain in the upper arm, vomiting and indigestion were reported, but this situation also subsided.
With regard to coordinating all activities linked to vaccination, the Ministry of Health has established an operational group to monitor the vaccination process. The group thus again submitted a letter to community healthcare centres about the collection of applications for vaccination from the elderly aged 80 and older.