The Government takes note of the current situation regarding the coronavirus
The possibility of the occurrence of the virus in Slovenia is high, considering the limited outbreaks and confirmed cases of the coronavirus in neighbouring countries and elsewhere around the world.
The situation is very dynamic but is under control. It is very important that we are prepared to take proportionate measures to prevent infection with the coronavirus and to limit the spread of the virus. By 18.00 on 27 February 2020, no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus were recorded in the Republic of Slovenia.
At the meeting with hospitals' management, it was confirmed that hospitals are relatively well prepared to receive the first patients with the coronavirus. All communication and coordination activities of hospitals that will treat patients with COVID-19 will be centralised through the crisis group at the Ministry of Health and carried out through agreed communication channels. A meeting with primary-level healthcare providers is scheduled for Friday.
The coordination group for the control of infectious diseases in healthcare has determined entry points for the examination and treatment of patients suspected of being infected with COVID-19 – these will be primary healthcare centres that provide 24-hour emergency medical services. In accordance with the Government's resolution, additional protective equipment will be released from commodity reserves. Public healthcare institutions will be provided with sufficient protective equipment for medical staff and patients who will be treated by them. The equipment from commodity reserves will be distributed in the field in a coordinated manner and in consultation with epidemiologists depending on the situation and needs.
In addition, the measures laid down by the law governing infectious diseases are being implemented with regard to the novel coronavirus. At the session of the Secretariat of the National Security Council, it was agreed that a working group should be established at the level of state secretaries headed by State Secretary at the Ministry of Health Simona Repar Bornšek. In the event of a mass outbreak, which would be a complex crisis, coordination will be taken over by the Secretariat of the National Security Council, or the national plan that regulates measures in the event of an infectious disease epidemic will be activated. The Ministry of Health is intensely coordinating health system activities in order to be ready to respond to any cases of infection with the coronavirus. Communication activities at the government level have also intensified.
At the invitation of his Italian counterpart, Minister of Health Aleš Šabeder has attended a meeting of health ministers of neighbouring countries, Slovenia, France, San Marino, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Germany, in Rome. The following measures have been adopted:
- the borders should remain open (closing the borders would be an inefficient and excessive measure),
- countries will exchange and harmonise information for persons travelling to and returning from infected areas,
- clinical and epidemiological data will be exchanged,
- information for the expert and general public will be harmonised, including information provided at borders,
- regular videoconferences will be held at the expert and ministerial levels,
- decisions on the cancellation of mass events should be taken on a case-by-case basis, and appropriate measures should be adopted.
The Republic of Slovenia also participates in meetings of the EU Health Security Committee and coordinates with it on a daily basis regarding technical issues pertaining to the new virus.
To address the problems with the supply of personal protective equipment on the market, the Government has decided to use 48,000 protective masks, 5,000 protective gowns, 500,000 gloves and disinfecting agents in the total amount of EUR 200,000 from national commodity reserves to help contain the coronavirus epidemic and protect medical and other personnel.