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Measures to contain the spread of coronavirus are in force

By 2 p.m. today there were 31 confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection in Slovenia; the number of tests performed stands at 1643. To provide information and assistance to the public, a call centre has been set up with the toll-free telephone number 080 14 04; furthermore, notification via text messages has been introduced for travellers crossing the Slovenian border.

In his statement today regarding the measures adopted yesterday to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Aleš Šabeder said that the Order prohibiting indoor public gatherings in Slovenia for 100-plus visitors had been in force since midnight, and explained that the ban did not apply to shopping malls, small commercial venues, weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies.

A regulation on the temporary prohibition of incoming flights departing from Italian airports located in threatened areas (Italian regions: Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Marche), and from China, South Korea and Iran has also entered into force.

The Minister noted that the Inter-Ministerial Working Group was preparing measures to be introduced on the border with neighbouring Italy and, on the basis of the Contagious Diseases Act, ad hoc control points would also be set up.

The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities is drafting an emergency law to cover part of the sick leave allowance (40%) by the state.

A joint meeting of the outgoing and incoming ministerial teams was also held today in which ministers were informed of the adopted measures, Minister Šabeder added.

The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has drafted a leaflet with key information about the coronavirus, which will be distributed to all Slovenian households via the Post of Slovenia.

As regards the confirmed cases of infection, epidemiologist Eva Grilc said that the majority of patients were infected abroad. For the time being, there are 14 secondary infection cases in Slovenia, i.e. infections resulting from contact with another infected person. According to Ms Grilc, the good news is that these infections resulted from contact with identified persons, and are not due to random contacts. The number of confirmed coronavirus infections by region: Ljubljana 15, Metlika 10, Maribor 3, Portorož 1 and 2 cases for which no data are available.

According to the Head of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Fever Conditions at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre, Tatjana Lejko Zupanc, there are currently 18 people being treated at the infection clinic, of whom 5 persons with very mild symptoms will be discharged today. The health condition of the remaining patients is stable. She again urged the public not to visit health centres but to first consult with their personal doctor by telephone in case of need.

Minister Šabeder concluded by saying that the budget reserves have been released for the purchase of protective masks through the EU public procurement. He agreed with the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, to contact all Slovenian protective equipment manufacturers, urging them to increase their output capacities to the greatest extent possible.