Let’s be responsible and comply with the measures consistently
A record 2758 tests were conducted yesterday, with 108 new infections confirmed, said official spokesman Jelko Kacin at the beginning of today’s press conference.
This volume of tests and new infections is a huge task for the epidemiological service, which is indicated by the fact that the epidemiological enquiries are still being carried out for half the cases that were confirmed yesterday.
Slovenia’s epidemiologists, working at maximum capacity, are performing their work well, responsibly, and quickly, for which they deserve a great deal of credit, said Kacin. The situation in Slovenia was presented in more detail by Dr Mario Fafangel, who stressed that talking about the measures was no longer appropriate, but rather about how to adjust our way of life for a certain period of time.
Fafangel: By complying with the measures you make the epidemiologists’ work easier
Fafangel then explained why the governments had not opted for a full lockdown this time despite the record number of tests and a high number of confirmed infections.
In Slovenia, the 14-day cumulative incidence per 100 inhabitants is 34, while in the EU it is nearing 60 (similar to April).
He stressed that Slovenia and other countries were trying to choose a path where other methods – social distancing, using hand sanitisers, wearing masks – would allow us to keep the country open.
Currently, Slovenia has very few imported cases, but the virus is spreading within the country.
Therefore, Fafangel called for people to comply with the measures consistently, and also mentioned the #Ostanizdrav (Stayhealthy) app, which can significantly ease the workload of the overworked epidemiologists.
In addition to epidemiologists from other laboratories, the epidemiological service is currently being assisted by 15 medical students, allowing them to process from 80 to 100 cases a day.
But the most we can do to take the burden off the epidemiologists is to comply with the measures consistently.
Quarantine reduced to 10 days starting Sunday
The spokesman for the National Institute of Public Health said that as of Sunday, 13 September, quarantine in Slovenia would only last 10 days.
He admitted that by shortening the quarantine the risk would increase, but according to the epidemiologists, the majority of people in quarantine fell ill during the first ten days.
A shorter quarantine is also more acceptable from a public health perspective, as we will be dealing with the virus for some time, so this measure has to be acceptable in the long run.
Kacin: We don’t want to introduce any radical measures
The situation in Slovenia is currently better than elsewhere in Europe, said the official spokesman. The Slovenian government is carefully monitoring the developments, but at this point it is trying to avoid the use of more restrictive measures.
He told that the number of tests would increase and that they would be processed by labs all over Slovenia and added that the public should comply with the preventive measures, including those relating to private gatherings.
He also told that health inspectors would continue to monitor compliance with mask-wearing rules.
Yesterday, they visited 139 different facilities, in total 837 to date. In addition to checking the compliance with the recommendations of the Public Health Institute, they mainly focused on compliance with compulsory mask-wearing regulations at 83 bars and restaurants, 50 shops and 6 events.
Once again yesterday, no fines were imposed for not wearing masks in indoor public places.
Nor were any instances of failure to use hand sanitiser identified.
In addition, 124 persons who received quarantine orders were inspected.
The total number of checks performed was 21,977, with 199 sanctions filed, including 1 case of charges filed against a minor, 11 notices, 68 decisions with fine and 119 payment orders, in a total value of EUR 74,800.
If we behave responsibly our healthcare services will be able to operate normally
Kacin also mentioned the agreement reached yesterday by paediatricians to conduct Covid-19 tests only for children younger than 9. This is part of our collective responsibility to contain the spread of the virus and ensure normal functioning of the healthcare system to continue to provide its services to all who need them the most, said Kacin.
Nobody wants the hospital queues to get any longer.
Let’s be responsible to each other and for each other, and in particular to the most vulnerable members of our society, said official spokesman Jelko Kacin at the end of the press conference.