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Dr Lukanovič calls on the public not to trivialise coronavirus and preventive measures

A press conference on the current Covid-19 situation was held jointly by Robert Smrdelj, mayor of Pivka, Jelko Kacin, the government spokesperson, and Adolf Lukanovič, a retired doctor who spent two months in a coma on a ventilator at the Infection Clinic in Ljubljana with Covid-19.

Robert Smrdelj, mayor of Pivka

Robert Smrdelj, mayor of Pivka | Author Tamino Petelinšek, STA

There were 3,123 tests conducted on Tuesday, with 123 positives. There were no deaths caused by Covid-19, but there are 61 people being treated in hospital, of whom 11 require intensive care.

According to the Covid-19 Tracker, there were 18 new cases in Ljubljana, 15 in Rogaška Slatina, ten in Maribor, eight in Kranj, six in Slovenske Konjice and five in Domžale, to name the municipalities with a rise in case numbers. There were 28 new cases in the 45 to 54 age group, 19 in the 35 to 44 age group, and 18 in the 25 to 34 group. There were five positives among children aged 5 to 14, and six cases among the over 85s.

Mr Smrdelj explained that in light of the rise in the number of cases in the municipality, a decision had been taken to close sports facilities for 14 days, and also communicated to organisers of public events that the municipality would not issue any permits for such events for the next 14 days. He also advised residents to avoid all private gatherings and celebrations over the same period. Problems were also identified at the community health centre, where physicians were overworked and unreachable on the phone. The standby physician from the civil protection team was activated, and his phone number was given to local residents who needed an assessment or advice about symptoms that they were suffering from. Mr Smrdelj thanked residents for taking the situation seriously; the widespread use of masks is evident on the streets.

Based on his own experience of Covid-19, Dr Lukanovič called on the public not to trivialise the coronavirus and the measures proposed by the government, as the disease is serious. He said that he failed to understand people who deny that the epidemic is real, or even politicise it. Once you realise you are on the verge of death, you look at the disease and its consequences differently. He lost 16 kg, and was unable to walk when he was discharged from hospital. It was only after six weeks of rehabilitation that he made a full recovery. He warned that the virus is very much still with us, and would adapt and mutate. Today there is Covid-19, but tomorrow will bring Covid-20. We are therefore left with the consistent application of preventive measures: washing hands, maintaining social distance, using the tracing app.

That there are differing opinions as to how to continue the fight against the virus was confirmed by Mr Kacin. He said that together with its team of experts the government would issue further advice on Wednesday evening with regard to all possible ways of taking action, and would propose resolutions for Thursday’s meeting of the government, when decisions would be taken by consensus. In light of the above, the labour, family and social affairs ministry was today reaching agreement with managers of health centres on how these institutions could be supported with staff within the region when there is an outbreak of infection.