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Bratuša: Number of first dose vaccinations gradually increasing

Today’s press conference on the current situation regarding the Covid-19 epidemic featured Deana Potza from the Health Inspectorate and Marjan Maček, the head of the Financial Control Sector at the Financial Administration (FURS), while the current epidemiological situation in the country was presented by Maja Bratuša.

Maja Bratuša said that the epidemiological situation in the country remains very serious. Over the past week, an average of over 3,000 new infections was confirmed on a daily basis, and the 14-day incidence exceeded 2,000 to stand at 2,193. A total of 10,046 PCR tests and 54,342 rapid antigen tests were performed yesterday. A total of 4,276 new cases were confirmed, which means that 4,000 confirmed daily infections were surpassed during the latest wave for the third time. At 42.6%, the proportion of positive tests remained at a high level, comparable to recent days.

According to the data from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), the number of active cases in the country exceeds 46,200, and the pressure on hospitals continues to increase. Today, the situation in hospitals is even worse than it was yesterday, despite the fact that 87 patients were discharged from hospitals yesterday, Bratuša noted. A total of 844 beds are occupied in ordinary wards, and 251 in intensive care units, which is 15 more than on the day before. Another 19 persons lost their battle with the disease.

80% of the patients in intensive care units are unvaccinated. Currently, 64% of people over the age of 18 and 74% of people over the age of 50 are fully vaccinated. The number of vaccinations has increased in recent days, especially due to the administering of third doses, while the number of administered first doses is also gradually increasing. A total of 15,642 people were vaccinated yesterday, of which 12,528 received a booster shot.

Deana Potza from the Health Inspectorate presented a report on the inspections carried out in the period from 8 November up to and including 14 November. With regard to compliance with the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) condition, she said that all inspection bodies had increased the number of inspections last week, performing them in more than 5,900 facilities and involving more than 25,000 persons. As for sanctions, mostly warnings were issued. Hospitality industry and commerce are the activities where non-compliance with the PCT condition was most frequently identified.

The total number of inspections performed in relation to the management of Covid-19 last week was just over 6,500, with the highest number of inspections being performed by the Financial Administration. The Health Inspectorate checked the compliance with the PCT condition of more than 1,600 people. Among other things, 14 quarantine violations were identified. The inspectorates also carried out stricter controls during the weekend celebrations of St. Martin’s Day. During the weekend, the Market Inspectorate carried out 130 inspections of commercial activities and inspected more than 30 nightclubs, the operation of which is not permitted. One night club operating in Ljubljana was banned from further operations based on an oral decision.

Proceedings related to the alleged vaccination of minors with vector vaccines are still under way and it is not yet possible to predict exactly when they will be completed. The same applies to supervising persons who, after testing positive with a rapid antigen test, did not follow this up with a confirmatory PCR test; proceedings are still under way in this case, as well, said Potza.

All measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infectious disease are intended to protect human health and life, Potza noted, calling for the responsible conduct of all people.

Head of the Financial Control Sector at the FURS Marjan Maček said that a total of 205 inspectors were currently supervising the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic in the field. These will be joined, if necessary, by officers from mobile departments. This year, more than 4,000 such inspections have been carried out, with irregularities found in 26% of cases on average and fines totalling just over EUR 100,000.

From 8 to 15 November 2021, FURS inspectors carried out 1,281 inspections in the field, finding 245 irregularities (19%), specifically 218 in relation to compliance with the PCT condition and 27 in relation to wearing face masks. A total of 10 payment orders were issued in relation to the established irregularities with fines totalling EUR 27,200. 234 warnings were issued.

One oral decision was also issued this week to prohibit the performance of an activity until the irregularity is eliminated. The measure was imposed on a taxable person in the hospitality industry who had previously been warned about the identified irregularities in relation to compliance with the PCT condition.

According to Maček, the first positive effects of tightened control are already being detected, as in the last week a smaller proportion of irregularities was found on average compared to the week before. Inspectors also report that more consistent compliance with measures by taxable persons was detected in the field this week.

Compliance with the PCT condition means that the economy will be able to continue to operate relatively undisrupted and that, after all, compliance with the PCT condition actually saves lives, Maček pointed out at the conclusion of the presentation.