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Wearing a mask is a sign of responsibility

Mateja Logar, head of the advisory group at the Ministry of Health, and Simona Repar Bornšek from the Ljubljana Medical Centre participated at today’s press conference on the current situation regarding the Covid-19 disease.

5,502 PCR tests were carried out on Thursday, 937 came back positive. The share was 17 percent. Furthermore, 25,564 rapid antigen tests were performed. 485 patients were hospitalised (23 more than the day before), of whom 88 are in intensive care units. 10 persons died in hospitals.

The following municipalities stand out in terms of new positive cases: Celje (31), Kranj (22), Jesenice (13), Domžale (17), Koper (36), Piran (11), Nova Gorica (26), Sežana (28), Novo mesto (15), Trbovlje (13), Zagorje ob Savi (13), Ljubljana (121), and Maribor (70).

The seven-day average number of confirmed cases is higher than in recent days, i.e. 776, as per the published data of NIJZ.  

Pressure has been increasing on hospitals in recent days, which is why healthcare institutions will not be able to open other regular hospital programmes. Logar believes that the history of many of the hospitalised patients includes visits to relatives in countries from former Yugoslavia, which is why such visits must also comply with preventive measures.

The reasons for the worsening of the epidemiological situation mainly lie in the spread of new versions of the virus, because there are no new positive Covid cases in schools, and the same applies to regions where bars have opened up their terraces. The regular meeting of the expert group on Monday will discuss the hardening of measures, rather than their lifting.

The EMA has called on Norway and Sweden, who are yet to restart vaccinations with AstraZeneca, to study the cases of adverse effects and to submit their findings to the agency. Distrust in the AstraZeneca vaccine is not justified. It was a mistake by the EMA experts, following the first approval of the vaccine, that they did not state that the vaccine is very efficient, especially regarding the prevention of the spread of worse forms of the disease.

Preventive measures must also be observed by persons who have already recovered from Covid or were vaccinated, as well as by everyone else.

The expert group will also propose the removal of the age restriction of 65+ for the AstraZeneca vaccine. The company’s clinical study had too few tested persons above the threshold in their registration papers, which is why the EMA did not approve them initially. Research has shown that vaccinated persons are less likely to spread the virus, which is also being monitored as vaccinations are under way.

Wearing a mask is a sign of responsibility. We can never know when we may be contagious or when we can infect someone else. The option of performing tests at home for students and high school students is being prepared. Tests will initially be performed on a smaller scale than the pilot project, then a recommendation will be issued for the entire young population.

Side effects are the expected response of the body to the injected vaccine, said Repar Bornšek. The immune system of the elderly is already weakened, which is why the response of the body will be less severe than in younger people, who still have a strong immune system. Wearing a mask is not harmful, and realising the importance of this measure is even more significant for sick people.