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Situation in homes for the elderly under control despite record number of positive cases

The epidemiological situation in the country was presented by Jelko Kacin, Government spokesman for COVID-19, while the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Janez Ciglar Kralj, summed up the conditions in homes for the elderly.

Janez Cigler Kralj

Janez Cigler Kralj | Author Nebojša Tejić/STA

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Of the 3,281 tests conducted on Thursday, a record 238 came back positive. The municipality with the highest number of cases was Ljubljana with 46, followed by Maribor with 12, according to Kacin. A total of 6,103 positive cases have been recorded since the beginning of March, with 1,908 patients currently infected. Of these, 86 are hospitalised and 15 are in intensive care, nine of whom need a ventilator to breathe. Two patients died.

The epidemiologists are worried about the daily positive test rate, which was at 6% last week, peaking at 8.24% on Saturday and amounting to 7.25% today.

In Europe, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus is increasing daily. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in EU Member States, including Great Britain, is almost 114 cases. According to the ECDC, this number has been rising for the past 70 days. Twenty-seven Member States have exceeded 60 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. In Slovenia, this number stands at 86.79. The epidemiological situation is far better in Italy and Croatia and significantly worse in Hungary and Austria. 

The situation is still delicate in homes for the elderly, said Minister Cigler Kralj. In the last few days, the conditions have stabilised at the Centre for Training, Work and Care in Črna na Koroškem, which currently has 58 infections among the residents and 22 among employees. With the help of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, a red zone was established at the nearby Centre for School and Extracurricular Activities. New cases were discovered at the Rakičani Home for the Elderly, where 13 residents recently tested positive for the virus and six employees went into quarantine. To establish the red zone, three residents were temporarily moved from the home to the Nova Gorica General Hospital, as the University Medical Centre Ljubljana and the University Medical Centre Maribor are full.

Some positive news comes the Danica Vogrinec Home for the Elderly, Tabor Unit, where only three new infections were detected in the last few days after 340 tests were conducted. Infections first occurred at the beginning of September and rose significantly in the following days. In the past two weeks, the situation has improved. The home's red zone currently houses 37 residents infected with the novel coronavirus and one resident is receiving hospital treatment.

Conditions in social protection institutions have changed substantially since the first wave in March, said Minister Cigler Kralj. The homes have sufficient amounts of protective equipment and training is being provided to ensure that it is used correctly. The Ministry has secured EUR 29 million in funding for additional staff, which will allow homes for the elderly to hire another 550 trained workers. The homes' management rely heavily on the protocol that prescribes the course of action in the first instance of the virus in social protection institutions.