Temperature screening to start at Ljubljana airport, extra measures planned on land border
Ljubljana, 9 March - Health Minister Aleš Šabeder announced temperature screenings at Ljubljana airport and plans for extra measures on the land border after today's session of the National Security Council dedicated to coronavirus. The number of confirmed infections in Slovenia meanwhile grew to 23 by 2pm on Monday.
The checking of passengers arriving at Jože Pučnik airport is expected to be introduced in a few days, while the authorities are still looking into the possibility of introducing preventive measures on the border with Italy.
Šabeder said Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar had assured him that the police can set up border control within 48 hours while small border crossings will probably have to be closed.
All passengers crossing the border will be notified of the new protective measures in a text message, while citizens will be informed about them in flyers that will be send to each household.
Indoor events will have to be limited to 100 participants as of Tuesday, Šabeder said. All sports events for 500-plus visitors, including the upcoming Apline Ski World Cup events and the Ski Flying World Championships in Slovenia, will be carried out without spectators.
Moreover, the inspection service of the Health Ministry will be working 24/7 to monitor the implementation of the ban and issue fines for violations.
Schools and kindergartens will remain open for the time being, agreed officials at today's session of the National Security Council.
They also agreed that the Finance Ministry would immediately release budget reserves for the purchase of protection gear. Slovenia will order half a million protective face masks as part of an EU public procurement of protective gear.
According to outgoing PM Marjan Šarec, all ministries have prepared plans for their fields. He said ministers were already cooperating with the candidates for new ministers so as to ensure continuity as the new cabinet takes office.
Šarec asserted the Finance Ministry had sufficient funds available for emergency cases, noting that the number of infections was expected to increase.
The session of the National Security Council was also attended by PM-designate Janez Janša, who spoke of a battle with time at the press conference, noting that the spreading of the virus could not be stopped overnight. He said the outgoing and the new government teams had been cooperating since Friday.
After this crisis, countries in Europe will be divided into those that managed to prevent the virus from spreading beyond the country's capacities and those that did not, he said.
According to Nina Pirnat of the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ), Slovenia is still in the first phase of the spreading of the virus, and the virus is spreading slower than in neighbouring countries.
After 1,227 tests have been conducted, a total of 23 infections have been confirmed in Slovenia. All of the patients are feeling fine. They are being treated at the UKC Ljubljana, UKC Maribor and the Novo Mesto hospitals.
The NIJZ has so far proposed quarantine for about 50 people, Pirnat said.
In 14 cases, patients were infected abroad, mostly in Italy, and in 9 cases secondary infections occurred, but all were connected to the known cases.
Eight secondary cases are connected to the doctor from the Metlika community health centre, so a set of special recommendations was issued for the region today, including restrictions on business trips.
Nine cases are from the Ljubljana area, three from the Štajerska region in the north-east, one from Slovenian Istria and 10 form the Dolenjska region in the south-east.