On Sunday, April 5th, 2020, Prime Minister Janez Janša visited the University Medical Centre (UKC) Ljubljana with the General Manager of UKC, Janez Poklukar, MD, to learn about the current situation there, and the adjustments that were made due to the state of emergency. Janša visited the temporary emergency room, the children’s intensive care unit, and learned about the situation at the Infection Clinic. The hospital management team also presented the plans for the operating of the hospital after the epidemic and plans for building additional capacities of the Infection Clinic.
According to the latest data, there are currently 51 patients hospitalized at the UKC Ljubljana’s COVID ward, of which 37 are patients in adult wards, and 14 are in the intensive care unit.
Prime Minister Janez Janša said that all of the measures taken by the Government to curb the epidemic were based on professionals’ opinions. “However, it is true,” Janša said, “that for a long time, the so-called “experts” in Slovenia were not unified in their opinion, and therefore, we had to look at how other countries and experts responded to the threat, which is similar all over Europe, or, in fact, the world.”
Following the advice of the experts
“We are not blind; we were closely monitoring what was going on all over the world and saw what works and what does not. Luckily, Slovenia was not the first crisis point in Europe. If it were, the price we would have to pay would be the same as it is in Italy, where the measures were taken too late,” said Janša.
“The Government absolutely respected the opinion of the experts. I will say this though, we paid more attention to those professionals, that were more in line with the requirements at the time,” Janša acknowledged, pointing out that even the World Health Organization (WHO), which should have been a reliable source of information from the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, made a number of mistakes. One important thing to note is the wearing of masks. Even back in January and February, WHO claimed that masks were not needed, but now they have admitted that they are, in fact, necessary.
“This situation proves that when someone commands something or recommends it with some authority – whether it is the authority of the country or their profession – and common sense tells you this is not the case, it is better to rely on common sense,” Janša said.
Janša said that Slovenia is doing moderately well in its fight against COVID-19. “We have made up for a lot of the delays, but not all of them yet. We are closely monitoring the situation in the countries where they thought they had successfully limited the epidemic, but it erupted again. Especially today, after talking to the people on the frontline, I am even more aware that this danger is far from over, so we need to be extra careful when loosening some of the measures.«
Janša also announced that some parts of public life could begin returning back to normal, even before the end of May, or perhaps even before the end of April. Provided, of course, that there will be enough protective equipment. “It is not enough to just have it, it has to be used,” Janša stressed, saying that this would become our new normality until an effective COVID-19 vaccine is developed.
According to the latest data, 27,764 COVID-19 tests have already been administered in Slovenia, 997 cases of infection have been confirmed, and so far, 28 people have died.