Coronavirus in Slovenia: more confirmed cases

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Six more cases of Coronavirus infection in Slovenia have so far been confirmed and what appears to be at least two unrelated clusters.

Preventive steps are being taken and measures are in the pipeline to help businesses affected by the global outbreak.

The information came in about a sixth person testing positive for the Coronavirus in Slovenia. Details are not available yet, but the report said it was a younger man from the Štajersko region, in the north-east tested positive for Coronavirus in Slovenia. Schools and universities remain open until further notice despite the rising number of confirmed cases with Coronavirus in Slovenia.

Statements to the press have been delivered by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Simona Repar Bornšek, and Nina Pirnat, Director of the National Institute of Public Health due to more confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Slovenia.

A further two infected with Coronavirus in Slovenia were a man and a woman who had traveled in Italy where they are presumed to have contracted the virus, Nina Pirnat, director of the National Public Health Institute, told the media yesterday after they confirmed more cases with Coronavirus in Slovenia.

According to the Ministry of Health, three of the infected persons had been on a trip to Morocco, returning via Italy’s Venice airport on a commercial flight in the afternoon of 29 February before continuing home. Meaning they might infected more people with Coronavirus in Slovenia and Italy, where they are facing the worst outbreak of Coronavirus outside Asia.

A total of 433 people tested for Coronavirus in Slovenia

The health authorities established that the first person confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, identified as a Ljubljana man-aged about 60, had been in contact with 19 fellow travelers on a ten-day organized motorcycle trip around Morocco, 16 from Slovenia and three from Croatia. Moreover, the health authorities said that he had been in contact with seven persons in the community health center in the Ljubljana borough of Vič, which the man visited on Wednesday, feeling unwell. More possible cases of Coronavirus in Slovenia might be confirmed today and over the weekend.

The physician, who attended to the patient before sending him in an ambulance to the UKC Ljubljana hospital to be quarantined in a separate ward, has self-isolated. The doctor was wearing protective equipment while examining the patient, and the premises of the health center were ventilated and sanitized due to the first cases of Coronavirus in Slovenia, NIJZ officials said, however, the question remains is the doctor also infected with Coronavirus in Slovenia.

All persons who have been in close contact with the man have been tested due to the possible infection with Coronavirus in Slovenia. The Slovenian Health Ministry has also notified Croatia about the Coronavirus in Slovenia.

How is the outbreak of Coronavirus affecting Slovenia? Read here.

Businesses have meanwhile been pointing to the impact of the global outbreak, calling for clear guidance and measures to help cope with the situation.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) today said that many manufacturing companies could be affected by disrupted supplies over the next 14 days due to the outbreak in China. A slump in sales is also expected.

Due to the coronavirus spread in Slovenia, companies active in tourism, hospitality, logistics, services, and retail already report problems. Many reports huge losses alongside Pošta Slovenija and Luka Koper. Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus in Slovenia, there are fewer tourists flocking to the country.

Almost all trips in March have been cancelled, as have 80% of those scheduled for April and May, CEO Anja Poženel Belec said, adding that most trips were being cancelled by their clients from Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea.

“At the moment, bookings are being pushed to September and October, so we are expecting a big increase in autumn if the situation calms down until then. But the shortfall in the first six months will nevertheless show at the annual level.”

Gorazd Skrt of Lovely Trips, which helps companies promote Slovenian tourism in Italy, says that Italian travel agencies are seeing a significant drop in bookings.

Many people who do not have symptoms are canceling their trips so as to avoid transmission, while in Slovenia, people fear guests from Italy will bring the virus, he said.

The impact of the epidemic on tourism is difficult to assess at the moment, according to him. “If the situation improves in the coming weeks, we’ll be able to make up for a part of cancellations and only record a drop of a few percent. But if the situation continues for months, arrivals of Italian guests could be magnitudes worse.”

Several Slovenian travel agencies have seen a significant drop in business because of the new coronavirus. The agencies organizing tourist trips in Slovenia are particularly affected, while those offering trips abroad are noticing a change in tourism flows. Lufthansa and Ryanair have both canceled over 100 flights in Europe due to the rising number of Coronavirus infections.

Big travel agencies offering trips to other countries are not particularly affected. Palma has not seen a drop in demand or any major cancellations-

Kompas said the situation was changing on a day-to-day basis. Its tours of Italy do not make stops in the towns that are quarantined at the moment, so there have been no cancellations.

Rather than a drop in demand, they are noticing that people are opting for slightly different destinations.

GoOpti, a company providing shared and private transfers to airports and between towns, is seeing a 30-40% drop in the number of passengers, especially in Italy.

Bill ready to subsidize businesses hurt by Coronavirus in Slovenia

In the face of the negative effects of the virus on business, several associations, including the trade union of employees in the hospitality sector from the ZSSS trade union confederation, the Employers’ Association and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), have called on the government to introduce measure to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus immediately.

Radio Slovenija has reported that the Labour Ministry has drawn up an emergency bill to subsidize companies for part of the of workers temporarily laid off as a result of the impact of the global coronavirus outbreak. Slovenian Labour Ministry has finally confirmed that Coronavirus in Slovenia is affecting businesses.

Companies would be eligible for the subsidy if they were forced by business reasons to temporarily lay off more than half of the workforce.

The workers who are on furlough for up to three months would get 80% of the average pay for the past three months, of which 40% would be subsidized by the state and the rest by the employer.

Source: STA