Record 123 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in 3,123 tests on Tuesday

Ljubljana, 16 September - A record 123 new Covid-19 cases were discovered in Slovenia on Tuesday as 3,123 persons were tested for the coronavirus, the second highest testing figure to date. There were no deaths, but the number of active cases has risen to 975, shows the official data, released on Wednesday.

Pivka Mayor Robert Smrdelj at today's Covid-19 briefing at Government Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Medical doctor Adolf Lukanovič, who has recovered from a severe form Covid-19, presenting his story at today's Covid-19 briefing at Government Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The government's coronavirus spokesperson Jelko Kacin at today's Covid-19 briefing at Government Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The number of hospitalised patients is up by 12 to 61 and the number of those in intensive care by one to 11. Officials announced the Celje general hospital will now become the fourth hospital to admit infected patients.

The number of total cases since the first one was confirmed on 4 March stands at 3,954 and the number of deaths at 135, with the last one recorded almost two weeks ago.

The government's coronavirus spokesperson Jelko Kacin said at today's daily briefing that 48 Tuesday cases had been locally transmitted, only two cases had been imported, while the sources of infection for 20 cases remained unknown.

The number of infections of unknown origin has been falling, which Kacin finds encouraging. He believes it is a result of "citizens heeding our calls to be honest and cooperate with epidemiologists".

Pivka, a small municipality in south-west, which saw a spike in new cases on Sunday and tightened nation-wide protective measures on Monday, currently has 18 infected residents, Mayor Rober Smrdelj said at today's briefing.

He said a special line is being planned for Pivka residents suspecting to be infected to call to speed up access to GP and testing.

Civil Protection head for the Notranjska region Sandi Curk said last evening new cases in Pivka were recorded at the primary school and the food-processing company Pivka Perutninarstvo, both of which are the municipality's hotspots.

The number of all infected workers at Pivka Perutninarstvo has risen from 18 to 38, the company said today, adding that some had fallen ill while already in quarantine.

Production at the poultry processing-company nevertheless runs smoothly, and tests have shown there is no risk of the virus being transmitted from people to food.

The situation at the elderly home in Črneče in Koroška region, north, has also not stabilised yet, with 16 cases confirmed so far, of which 12 in residents.

Director Srečko Mlačnik told the STA all the infected cases are from the same unit, with two of the infected residents being taken to hospital.

The unit - now classified as a grey zone - is separated from the rest of the care home, while the ten infected residents are accommodated at the red zone.

The four infected employees are self-isolating, so Mlačnik fears a lack of staff at what is the biggest home for the elderly in Koroška, with 263 beds.

The spread of the novel coronavirus has meanwhile calmed down at another hotspot, the Danica Vogrinec Home for the Elderly in Maribor, north-east, where a Covid-19 outbreak took place at the start of last week.

There are now 42 infected persons, of whom 25 residents and 17 staff, but director Marko Slavič said that only one in 200 tests performed this week came back positive.

"We are happy to note a downward trend in new infections," he said on Wednesday.

However, since 30 staff have been quarantined, the care home's Tabor unit lacks more than half of its staff, who are now working in extremely hard conditions.

Meanwhile, Adolf Lukanovič, a doctor who recovered from a severe form of Covid-19 in spring, presented his experience with the disease.

He said he had spent 900 hours or 37.5 days connected to a ventilator after he was admitted to hospital on 9 March and his condition quickly worsened.

The former medical director of UKC Ljubljana's Gynaecology Clinic said the disease should not be underestimated, adding it made him sad to see some politicise the the epidemic and claim it was made up.

© STA, 2020