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Comparison of deaths between countries not feasible

Today’s press conference on the current Covid-19 situation was hosted by Mateja Logar from the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the Ljubljana University Medical Centre and Jelko Kacin, the government spokesperson.

Jelko Kacin

Jelko Kacin | Author Danijel Novakovič/STA

Mr Kacin revealed that Sunday saw 480 positive cases in 1,751 tests, a test positivity rate of 27.41%.

A total of 1,302 patients were in hospital yesterday, of whom 196 were in intensive care. There were 52 deaths, comprising 38 at hospitals and 14 at residential care homes, taking the total to date to 1,796. A total of 44 people were discharged from hospital, while 81 were admitted.

Yesterday’s new positives were concentrated in the following municipalities: Ljubljana (45), Maribor (42), Laško (34), Beltinci (15), Ivančna Gorica (13), Ptuj (16), Prevalje (16), Krško (15), Ravne na Koroškem (14), Sevnica (16), Slovenj Gradec (13).

The 14-day incidence per 100,000 people reached 972 yesterday. Currently five regions have lower incidence than the national average: Central Sava, Upper Carniola, Coastal-Karst, Central Slovenia and Gorizia.

At care homes 50 residents and 44 staff members (including 26 health workers) recovered yesterday. There were 65 new positives at care homes, taking the total number of cases among residents at care homes to 2,712. The number of staff newly testing positive was 17, of whom 11 were health workers, taking the number of cases among staff at care homes to 1,078.

In her introduction Ms Logar presented figures on the 341 cases at her hospital, and the 60 Covid-19 patients in intensive care. She confirmed that medical experts are increasingly finding that recovering patients can suffer the consequences of the disease for long periods, particularly in lung function.

All staff at the University Medical Centre are now undergoing regular quick tests, which yielded nearly 50 positives between Friday and yesterday, some symptomatic and some asymptomatic. They have multiple test sites, and every staff member is tested once a week. Negative tests in the quick testing mostly yield negative tests in PCR testing, while some positive results in the antigen tests are shown to be false positives by PCR testing.

The way deaths are recorded in Slovenia means that any person who dies while positive for Covid-19 is recorded as dying from Covid-19. Other countries count this figure differently, which means that comparisons are not feasible.

Mass testing with quick tests just before or during the holiday season needs to be understood as one of a number of preventive measures. A negative test brings relief for a few hours, but later the virus can become more widespread in the body, when it can begin to be transmitted to other people. The consistent use of other containment measures therefore remains key to preventing the spread of the virus.

The claim by Stanko Pušenjak, a gynaecologist, that the Covid-19 vaccination might affect the fertility of 70% of women was dismissed as ill-conceived and unprofessional by Ms Logar. She cited data of relevance to understanding the impact of proteins on the formation of the placenta in the uterus, and announced that Dr Pušenjak had drafted a new, broader statement.

Mr Kacin confirmed that Mario Fafangel had informed the health minister that he was stepping down permanently from the Covid advisory group.