Today’s press conference on the current COVID-19 situation was attended by the Minister of Health, Tomaž Gantar, the Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, the Director of the National Institute of Public Health, Milan Krek, and the Government’s spokesperson, Jelko Kacin.
The Government is taking measures to curb the increase in the number of infected people arriving from abroad, stressed Tomaž Gantar. Measures to prevent the possible spread of the virus within the country have not yet been adopted, but the Government is considering them and will adopt them as soon as it has been established that the virus is actively spreading among the population. The Ministry is encouraging testing, and they are also considering introducing a mobile app to track coronavirus infections on a voluntary basis.
The Government has adopted the Decision amending the Ordinance on imposing and implementing measures for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 at border crossings at the external border and at control points at the internal borders of the Republic of Slovenia, which will enter into force on 19 June 2020 at midnight and provides for fewer exceptions to the quarantine rule for persons entering Slovenia. Aleš Hojs stressed that two kinds of exceptions were removed from the list of exceptions referred to in Article 10 of the Ordinance and that a new rule was introduced with regard to all other exceptions, namely that only persons who submit a certificate less than three days old showing that they have tested negative for COVID-19 and that the test was performed in an EU Member State or a Schengen Area member state will exceptionally be allowed to enter Slovenia without restrictions and without quarantine.
The Minister also presented the changes in the lists of countries, namely that the Government has added Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo to the list of countries with a worsened epidemiological situation. Bulgaria is to be removed from the list of epidemiologically safe countries or administrative units of countries as of 19 June 2020. The following countries are to be included in the list of epidemiologically safe countries or administrative units of countries as of 19 June 2020: Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Spain.
Milan Krek presented data on the origin of the infection in 34 active positive cases in the last 14 days. Of these, 20 persons were infected abroad, who then passed the infection on to 14 other persons in Slovenia. These numbers are not yet such that we could speak of the beginning of the second wave of the virus.
The majority (nine) of these infections were imported from Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the remaining infections being imported from Russia, the United States, Sweden and several other countries. In the words of the Director of the National Institute of Public Health, the majority of those infected abroad entered Slovenia on the basis of exceptions laid down Article 10 of the Ordinance on imposing and implementing measures for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 at border crossings.
The National Institute of Public Health is preparing for a scenario where a larger number of epidemiologists would be needed and, for that purpose, they are educating some of their experts on how to perform tasks related to controlling the spread of the virus.