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Slovenia highlighted as coronavirus success story

New York, 6 May - The US news portal Vox has put Slovenia alongside Greece, Iceland, Jordan and Vietnam as overlooked success stories when it comes to fighting coronavirus outbreaks.

Ljubljana
Prešeren Square, one of Ljubljana's tourism landmarks, abandoned amidst the coronavirus lockdown.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

In an article published on Tuesday, Vox notes that with nearly 1,500 confirmed coronavirus cases and 100 deaths as of May 5, Slovenia's "relatively small outbreak is impressive, considering Slovenia is a growing tourist destination that borders Italy, one of Europe's outbreak epicenters."

"Its success mainly stems from an aggressive early lockdown, quarantines of sick people, and generous government spending."

Vox notes that it took Slovenia about two weeks after the first confirmed case to close schools and businesses and freeze public transportation.

The government gave EUR 3 billion - 6% of GDP - to citizens and businesses to survive the shutdown.

Quarantines helped keep confirmed cases low, Vox says, noting that borders were shut down and mandatory quarantine ordered for those entering the country.

Now, the situation has improved to the extent that businesses have already begun opening up again, and citizens can travel outside their municipalities, with schools to start on May 18. However, major public events like concerts and soccer games, will still be suspended.

"What Slovenia has shown, then, is that aggressive government action and intervention can help keep people from spreading the disease. Even by the government's own numbers, it could do more testing, but for now, the current measures appear to be working."

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© STA, 2020