Slovenia's tally of coronavirus cases at 253

Ljubljana, 16 March - Slovenia registered 253 confirmed coronavirus cases by 2pm Monday, an increase of 34 over the past 24 hours. A total of 6,712 tests have been taken, fresh data posted on the government website shows.

Yunyang, China
Coronavirus tests.
Photo: Xinhua/STA
File photo

Bojana Beović, the head of the expert team supporting the government coronavirus crisis unit, said that 29 of the coronavirus patients were hospitalised, three of them in intensive care.

She said that the condition of two of the patients in intensive care units - one at the UKC Ljubljana hospital and the other at UKC Maribor - was deteriorating rapidly.

"The phase in which the state deteriorates gravely with severe pneumonia, develops in about a week after the onset of the disease," Beović, an infectious disease expert, told reporters.

Considering that and the number of persons who have tested positive, Beović said that more gravelly ill patients in need of intensive care could be expected in the coming days.

Beović noted that the new figures indicated a stabilisation in the spread of new infections, but added that this could be attributed to some of the people noticing the symptoms at the weekend waiting until today to contact their GP.

The comparatively low number of hospitalised patients was due to the fact that Slovenia was still at an early stage of the epidemic. "There will be more later," said the expert.

UKC Ljubljana, which is treating 14 Covid-19 patients with graver symptoms, said their average age was 65.

Meanwhile, UKC Maribor said that 82 of its employees were self-isolating at home after being in close contact with those infected, but there had been no new spread in infections among the employees.

Beović said the Covid-19 patients with lighter symptoms recover in a week or two, while when the illness is grave it could take four to six weeks to recover.

About 20% of the patients get pneumonia with 5% of them in need of intensive treatment.

Beović repeated that the situation was serious and that people should not rely on not catching the virus. "It's necessary to follow the experts' advice and stick strictly to their instructions."

The fresh statistics come as public life in the country has ground to a halt with further measures in the pipeline to slow down the spread of new infections.

All education institutions and most shops have been closed, and public transportation suspended. A ban has been imposed on any form of organised child care.

As of midnight, all passenger flights are being banned as well.

© STA, 2020