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Prime Minister Janez Janša visits the University Medical Centre Ljubljana

  • Former Prime Minister Janez Janša (2020 - 2022)

Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša visited the University Medical Centre Ljubljana where he took note of the situation and what adjustments the medical centre had implemented to control the COVID-19 disease. The Prime Minister visited the temporary emergency unit, the pediatric intensive care unit and was informed about the current situation in the Department of Infectious Diseases.

The management of the UMCL presented their plans regarding the operation of the hospital following the epidemic and its plans to expand the capacities of the Department of Infectious Diseases. At the University Medical Centre Ljubljana there are currently 51 patients hospitalised in wards dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19. Of these, 37 patients are in adult wards and 14 in intensive care.

After his visit, the Slovenian prime minister stated that results are showing that the situation is under control, as “the UMCL took action before the state had issued any instructions and they have staff who understood, in advance, the impact an epidemic can have”. He continued by saying, “Everyone warned about the curve, which we have been able to flatten with measures, however, it is not decreasing yet and there is still the important question of when will it be possible to say with confidence that the epidemic has been halted to the extent that life will be able to return to normal”.

Janez Janša also pointed out that healthcare institutions had first priority in terms of allocation of protective equipment. “Some institutions had begun preparing earlier, before the epidemic was declared and, thanks to them, the situation that first week when there was no available protective equipment was at least manageable. Now, the situation regarding both measures and protective equipment has been rectified to such an extent that the civil protection is able to distribute equipment to other critical points such as homes for the elderly. We hope that in the upcoming days there will be sufficient protective equipment on the market to also stock pharmacies and specialist shops.”

The prime minister stated that all the measures the Government had adopted were done so on the basis of expert opinion. “However, it is true that the so-called experts in Slovenia were not united in their opinions and we were forced to observe how other countries and experts in other countries responded to the similar threat that is present throughout Europe and the world,” Janez Janša said and continued, “We are not blind. We saw what was going on around the world and saw what works and what does not. Fortunately, Slovenia was not the first hotspot in Europe.   If it were, then the result would be the same as it was in Italy, where measures were delayed."

"So the government absolutely respected the opinion of experts, namely those who were more in line with the requirements of the time," pointed out the Prime Minister and added that even the World Health Organization, which made many mistakes from the very beginning, changed their opinion with regard to wearing protective masks, so that in the last two weeks, they were posting completely opposite views on their website as published compared to January or February. "This situation shows that with some recommendations or commands from the state or experts, it is better to rely on basic common sense," commented the Prime Minister.

Janez Janša further said that we are doing reasonably well in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. “We have made up for a lot of lost time.  Not all of it. We are intensively monitoring the situation in those countries where it was already thought they had suppressed the epidemic, but it erupted again.  After today's conversation with people from the front line, I am even more aware that the danger of a new wave is not over, and therefore it is necessary to be very careful regarding the relaxing of some measures," said Prime Minister Janez Janša.  He further stated that, based on our experience and that of those countries in Europe that acted in time, much of what we understand today as a halt to public life could gradually start returning to normal before the end of May or at the end of April. "Namely, when there will be enough protective equipment available and we will have got used to the proper use of this protective equipment and when services will become accustomed to operating under conditions that are becoming ‘the new normal’, this new normality will last as long as there is an effective vaccine or effective cure for the disease," added the Prime Minister.