Covid-19 death toll rises to nine as two more deaths reported Friday

Ljubljana, 27 March - The coronavirus death toll in Slovenia rose to nine on Friday as two persons died, the second day in a row that more than one fatality has been confirmed. By Thursday midnight the total number of confirmed infections rose to 632, up by a record seventy cases in a day, the latest government data show.

Munich, Germany
Coronavirus test.
Photo: dpa/STA

Two patients who died on Friday had been hospitalised at the Golnik hospital near Kranj and the Celje General Hospital, the Health Ministry said.

Similar to other deaths, the persons who died yesterday and today were elderly with underlying conditions, the government Communication Office told the STA.

Among the nine dead are four residents of the Metlika retirement home, while another three were allegedly residents of the retirement home in Šmarje pri Jelšah. Both towns have a high rate of confirmed cases.

The National Institute for Public Health (NIJZ) meanwhile said that the new infections stemmed from clusters that had formed around the first detected cases, which had been imported.

Commenting on the increase in positive cases, NIJZ said that these were expected, as most were related infections in the retirement homes in Metlika and Šmarje pri Jelšah. It expects the growth in cases to slow down because of the lockdown measures imposed in Slovenia nearly two weeks ago.

The first case of Covid-19 has also been confirmed in the ranks of the Slovenian Armed Forces. All who were in contact with the person have been traced down and tested negative. In a press release the military also said it had set up a mobile lab to help test the Slovenians returning from abroad upon arrival.

In the evening, public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported that the first case has also been discovered in the police ranks. The police officer was reportedly working at a cooperation centre for security bodies in Dolga Vas, near Lendava (NE), where police officers from Austria, Croatia and Hungary work together.

Apart from the Slovenian police officer, a Croatian and an Austrian officer have also been infected, TV Slovenija reported.

A total of 90 patients were hospitalised as of Thursday, of which 22 were in intensive care. More than 18,000 tests were carried out by midnight on Thursday, over a thousand yesterday alone.

Meanwhile, reports from hospitals suggest 101 patients were in hospital today. Covid-19 patients are currently being treated in four hospitals, apart from Golnik and Celje, also at UKC Maribor and the UKC Ljubljana's Clinic for Infectious Diseases.

The latter is treating 50 patients, the highest number among all hospitals. UKC Ljubljana is also minotiring 30 patients with mild symptoms remotely.

UKC Maribor has meanwhile announced stricter measures as of Monday, shutting down all activities bar emergency assistance because the number of patients in need of intensive therapy is growing very fast.

The hospital is also concerned because it had admitted a patient who tested negative for Covid-19 and was hospitalised for a different illness but was positive several days later, after already having been in contact with other patients who tested negative.

© STA, 2020