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Dr Beovič on the current situation regarding COVID-19

Bojana Beovič, the Head of the Expert Group that provides support to the Crisis Staff of the Republic of Slovenia for the containment and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, said that, according to the latest data, there were 253 confirmed coronavirus cases in Slovenia by 2 p.m. today.

Of these, 29 patients have been hospitalised, three are in intensive care, and the condition of two of them is rapidly deteriorating. A total of 130 people are receiving medical care, with 29 being hospitalised, while others are staying at home.

Dr Beovič has stressed that it is extremely difficult to distinguish the COVID-19 infection from other respiratory infections, and many of those who have stayed at home are recovering from other respiratory infections. However, the virus is circulating among us and cannot be ruled out.

According to Dr Beovič, approximately half of the patients in intensive care recover. If the symptoms are mild, people recover in one to two weeks, but if the symptoms are severe, recovery takes four to six weeks. With regard to the rising numbers of infected people, she said that the trend has slowed down in the last few days.

Statements that certain fever-reducing medications have an adverse effect on the disease are speculations; however, paracetamol should be used as the first choice to help alleviate pain. She also stressed the importance of "social distancing" in shops – maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 to 2 metres. With regard to possible restrictions on manufacturing, she advised increasing the distance between people to reduce the spread of the virus.

In her words, children are not considered to be "super-spreaders" of the disease. While this is the case with flu, it is not with the coronavirus. According to data from China, where the epidemic started, children did not start the epidemic. However, children are in close contact with each other, and the virus circulates among them and spreads to other family members, including grandparents, which is extremely dangerous, she cautioned.

She concluded by adding that the use of protective equipment by staff working with the elderly in care homes is a rational measure.