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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Slovenia & COVID-19: Near-record 1,656 coronavirus cases on Thursday

A total of 1,656 cases of Sars-CoV-2 were confirmed in 6,745 tests in Slovenia on Thursday, two people died in hospital, said government speaker Jelko Kacin.

The number of active cases has reached 11,434, according to data from tracker Covid-19.Sledilnik, which also shows a near-record test positivity rate of 24.55% and a daily death tally of 3.

Meanwhile, 394 people needed hospital treatment, of whom 67 were in intensive care, Kacin said at a press conference on Friday.

The highest number of active cases by far is seen in the Gorenjska statistical region (867), followed by Koroška (636) and Central Slovenia (574).

The virus also continues to spread in nursing homes, both among staff and residents. Janez Cigler Kralj, the minister in charge of social affairs, said at the press conference that all nursing homes with Covid-19 patients had set up isolation wards, while all homes have a crisis plan prepared for the case of an outbreak.

Meanwhile, a number of nursing homes are moving coronavirus-positive residents to facilities that are physically separated.

The nursing home in Slovenj Gradec will be moving nearly 40 residents to the thermal spa Terme Topolšica, while infected residents of the Škofja Loka nursing home have already been moved to a nearby school gym.

The Radovljica nursing home will meanwhile be moving an entire department of staff who tend to the elderly living at home, to a nearby fire station.

Cigler Kralj said at the press conference that he visited the gym in Škofja Loka on Thursday. The decision to move infected residents to a gym has been met with some criticism over the past days, but the minister said the accommodation was appropriate.

With hotels also being a possible solution to provide additional beds for Covid-19 patients, Cigler Kralj said not all hotels were suitable for the care for Covid-19-infected nursing home residents, whose average age is 84 and 80% of whom are bedridden.

Also addressing the press conference, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said the government was in the final stages of talks with hotel operators, with many, above all thermal spas, promising to make available their capacities for Covid-19 patients. He said this would make several hundred beds available.

He also said that healthcare treatment, including physical therapy and similar services funded from public health insurance, which are frequently provided by hotels in thermal spas, remain allowed as of Saturday, when all other hotels and other similar facilities will have to close.


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