Slight drop in the number of hospitalised patients
The press conference on the current Covid-19 situation was attended by the state secretary at the Ministry of Health, Marija Magajne, the state secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Mateja Ribič, and the government spokesperson, Jelko Kacin.
6,410 tests were carried out yesterday, 1,849 of which were positive. The share was 28.8 percent. 1,258 patients were hospitalised, 24 less than on Tuesday, 189 were in the intensive care unit, 9 less than the day before. 49 patients died, 39 in hospitals and 10 in retirement homes.
Based on the number of new positive cases, the following municipalities stand out: Brežice 30, Celje 45, Dravograd and Ivančna Gorica 22, Koper 23, Krško 31, Laško 24, Lenart 23, Murska Sobota 21, Novo mesto 42, Polzela and Slovenj Gradec 33, Ptuj 35, Slovenska Bistrica 68, Šentjur 55, Velenje 34, Žalec 30, Ljubljana 169, and Maribor 84.
Mrs Magajne said that the government defined in more detail the correct wearing of masks in closed spaces. Wearing scarfs or bandanas is no longer permitted. She encouraged the public to submit a vaccination interest application by filling out the e-form on the website of the Ministry of Public Administration. The number of new daily Covid cases is not dropping, which is supposed to be mostly attributed to private gatherings of individuals. Rapid tests for employees are already being carried out at retirement homes, and the Ministry has published a tender seeking service providers for tests via mobile teams. Regarding the tightening of measures by two healthcare unions, the Ministry will do everything to respond to some of the demands as soon as possible. The tender for the procurement of the first batch of rapid tests has not been concluded yet, the negotiations are still on-going, and the procurement will be carried out as defined in the contract. These tests will be intended for groups where tests are most important.
The situation in retirement homes and the corresponding measures were presented by Mrs Ribič. 104 retirement home residents and 39 employees were confirmed as recovered yesterday, of whom 26 were healthcare workers. 4,235 residents and 1,903 employees, of whom 1,237 are healthcare workers, have recovered in the second wave, i.e. as of 20 July. 106 retirement home residents tested positive yesterday, bringing the total active cases to 2,572. 68 employees, of whom 33 are healthcare workers, also tested positive, bringing the total active cases among employees to 1,076.
Approx. EUR 26 million was allocated to the increase in professional staff at retirement homes in PKP4. Thus, 367 new employment contracts were concluded between August and October, 134 participants (monthly average) were included in the public works programme, 5,096 hours were logged in temporary and occasional work, and 72,476 hours were logged by high school and university students.
The Public Works Programme 2021 was also published yesterday, in order to increase the number of staff at care homes and hospitals, which will open on 16 December. The work will mainly involve assistance in carrying out the main and supportive everyday tasks, which includes assistance in establishing and preserving social contact with the relatives of users. The inclusion of 950 persons is planned, and EUR 4 million have been allocated for this purpose. The Employment Service of Slovenia will consider these applications as a priority. A classic public invitation for the public works programme will be published today, which assumes the inclusion of 4,000 persons, for which EUR 14.8 million are planned.
The government also raised the permitted number of employments at the Employment Service of Slovenia yesterday, for the years 2020 and 2021, by 30 new employments, for the definite period between 29 August 2020 to 28 August 2022. This decision was necessary because the Service has been included in the implementation of all 6 intervention laws as of the first wave of the epidemic. The Service has received 156,315 applications from employers since the start of the intervention legislation, i.e. from March to 8 December 2020. Almost all lay-off applications under PKP4 were processed and approx. 75 percent of all applications received from employers under PKP5. Despite the large number of applications received, the applications that were received under the first four intervention laws were resolved by the Service within 14 days on average. Applications for subsidies relating to part-time jobs are also being resolved regularly.
The Service paid out EUR 335.4 million to approx. 36,200 employers for 236,000 employees from March to 10 December 2020. Because the Service wants employers to receive their financial aid as soon as possible, many more payouts are planned for December.
The next payout to employers under the intervention measures will be on 17 December for lay-offs, quarantines, and force majeure, and payouts are also planned for 24 and 30 December. Employers will then be given subsidies for part-time jobs. The SPOT portal includes a new electronic form for employers for the intended organisation for work from home, which simplifies the notification procedure of the Labour Inspectorate. The agreement regarding the increase in minimum wage will be discussed tomorrow by the Economic and Social Council.