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Čakš Jager: Respecting measures is the proper moral and ethical stance for an individual

Today's conference on the current situation regarding the COVID-19 disease featured Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore, Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovenia Leon Novak, deputy head of the Infectious Disease Centre of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) Nuška Čakš Jager and Marta Grgič Vitek of the NIJZ, the national coordinator of the vaccination programme.

A total of 7,206 PCR tests and 24,124 rapid antigen tests were performed on Tuesday. A total of 1,558 new positive cases were confirmed for the positivity rate of 21.6 per cent. The seven-day average of positive cases climbed to 996.

A total of 500 patients are hospitalised, 15 fewer than on the day before. 111 people are in intensive care units. 7 patients died.

Prominent in terms of the positive cases confirmed today are the municipalities of Celje (74), Šentjur (21), Kranj (38), Domžale (26), Kamnik (43), Litija (25), Ivančna Gorica (23), Koper (61), Sežana (24), Nova Gorica (53), Novo Mesto (39), Ljubljana (183) and Maribor (49).

Report on vaccination and side effects

Vaccine supplies have picked up in recent months, and until today we have received more than 400 thousand doses, said Grgič Vitek as she presented the results of vaccination. Just under 150 thousand doses were thus delivered in February, and almost 200 thousand in March. The planned supplies for April amount to more than 335 thousand doses, half of them coming from Pfizer, just under half from AstraZeneca, and a small share from Moderna.

By yesterday, 11.4 per cent of the population, or almost 240 thousand people, had received the first dose of vaccine. 5.4 per cent or 112 thousand people have received both doses. The total number of vaccinations thus now stands at 352 thousand.

The number of vaccinated people in the 80-plus age group, who were vaccinated first, is steadily increasing. 14 days ago, the vaccination rate in the 80-84 age group was approximately 55 per cent, and now it has risen towards 60 per cent.

The vaccination rate for the 75-79 age group has also increased, as 50 per cent of them have received the first dose, while vaccination in the 70-74 age group has also begun, with 21 per cent of them having received the first dose. Vaccination of the 75-79 age group is expected to be concluded in the majority of vaccination centres this week, and vaccination of the 70-74 age group will be facilitated at the same time. Vaccination of the 65-69 age group, i.e. in the group that has been vaccinated the least so far, will also begin next week.

The average vaccination rate with the first dose by region is approximately 11 per cent. The highest rate is recorded in Zasavje, where almost 14 per cent have received the first dose.

Of the total number of vaccinations with the Pfizer vaccine by 28 March - almost 250 thousand - there were 2,252 reports of side effects, which is slightly less than 1 per cent. Of slightly more than 20 thousand vaccinations with the Moderna vaccine, there were 39 reports of side effects, which is approximately 0.2 per cent. Of more than 75 thousand vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine, there were 1,068 reports of side effects, which is approximately 1.5 per cent.

Up to and including 28 March, the NIJZ received: - 25 reports of serious side effects after vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine, which is 1.1 percent of all reports,

  • 1 report of serious side effects after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine, which is 2 percent of all reports,
  • 10 reports of serious side effects after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is 0.9 percent of all reports.

Epidemiological situation in the world and in Slovenia

An increase in the number of positive cases can be noticed both throughout the world and in individual areas, particularly in Europe. A total of 123,636,147 confirmed cases have been recorded in the world and more than two million and 700 thousand deaths, was the data presented by Čakš Jager. A strong increasing trend in terms of the number of positive cases is detected in Sweden, Eastern Europe, northern Italy, and there is also a noticeable trend in Spain and Portugal.

In comparison to weeks 11 and 10 of this year, there is a noticeable increasing trend in the number of positive cases in many countries. Iceland is recording an increase of 90 per cent, Hungary 55 per cent, Denmark 42 per cent, Norway 39 per cent and Poland 30 per cent. A decrease in the number of positive cases has, meanwhile, been recorded in Portugal (26 per cent) and Malta (19 per cent). Slovenia, too, recorded a drop of 8.6 per cent a week and a half ago, while Europe as a whole on average recorded an increase in the number of positive cases of 14.5 per cent. The 14-day cumulative incidence rate as of 25 March was 1,520 cases in Estonia, 1,328 in the Czech Republic, 1,145 in Hungary, 716 in Poland, 620 in Bulgaria, 601 in Cyprus, 597 in Sweden, 562 in France, 517 in Italy and 507 in Slovenia. However, the incidence in our country for today is already at 617 cases.

Surveyed people are increasingly reluctant and unwilling to reveal the information as to where they could have contracted the virus, stating "unknown" as the source. Cooperation with respondents is becoming increasingly impaired, and for this reason surveys conducted in this manner are rather insubstantial, as it is very difficult to obtain data regarding what is happening and where in society precisely because respondents are unwilling to cooperate.

In terms of the age structure, the number of confirmed cases has been dropping for a while in the oldest age groups, while the number for the young population and in the working population aged 35-44 is significantly increasing.

As for kindergarten and primary school children, an increase in the number of positive cases is recorded in the 6-14 age group, with 3.1 per cent of all primary school children being positive. The highest increase in cases in the primary school population is recorded in the 12-14 age group. In secondary school students, this share is 6.9 per cent. The situation is different regarding pedagogical staff, where the share of positive cases among all teachers is the highest at the pre-school level (24 per cent), while it fluctuates in the other two groups and does not show an upward trend.

Call for the respecting of measures and vaccination

Zore and Novak called on the faithful ahead of the Easter holidays to spend this period at home, in the closest family circle, and to follow services and masses remotely. They called for measures to be respected and stressed the importance of receiving the vaccination against COVID-19, as protecting one's own health and the health of others is a moral obligation.