Coronavirus is spreading fast through Europe. What are the predictions about coronavirus spreading to Slovenia?
Read the official statement from the Slovenian health minister.
As the novel coronavirus is spreading fast in neighboring Italy, Slovenian health minister assured the public on Sunday that there was no reason for alarm. However, a medical official, speaking at the same press conference, said there was little doubt that the virus would appear in Slovenia as well.
The first two infections confirmed last week
Slovenia has not confirmed any case of infection with the novel virus as yet, Health Minister Aleš Šabeder noted at the press conference in Ljubljana, even though two passengers aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess are the first Slovenians to test positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, officials from the National Institute of Public Health announced in Ljubljana. The couple has been admitted to a hospital in Japan.
Šabeder said that the government would call a session of the National Security Council secretariat for Monday to discuss the situation and take potential additional measures.
The minister does not want the virus to become a political issue. “This is a serious situation, unfolding not only in Europe, but also elsewhere round the globe,” he said.
Is traveling to Italy from Slovenia safe?
Šabeder said that official data from Italian authorities showed that 124 had so far contracted the virus in Italy. Meanwhile, Italian media have reported the number has risen to over 150 with three fatalities.
Should Italian authorities establish that a Slovenian citizen has been in contact with those infected, Slovenia will be alerted right away, the minister said. Health Ministry State Secretary Simona Repar Bornšek noted that part of Slovenia had just finished winter school break and that many would have spent it abroad.
With north of Italy being a popular skiing destination for Slovenians, the official advised all travelers who had returned from north Italian regions to monitor their condition and to contact their GP or duty service in case of a fever, cough or shortness of breath. All primary and secondary healthcare providers have been notified of the measures they need to take and the hospitals that could admit potential coronavirus patients have been urged to re-examine their contingency plans.
She urged the public to follow the information on the website of the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ), which is being updated 24 hours a day, and not to fall for provocations.