Slovenia announces more anti-coronavirus measures as infections rise to 96-Xinhua

Slovenia announces more anti-coronavirus measures as infections rise to 96

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-13 04:26:07

LJUBLJANA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Slovenian government declared a coronavirus epidemic on Thursday as the number of confirmed cases rose to 96, almost double the number reported a day before, according to the Slovenian Press Agency STA.

The declaration of the epidemic took effect at 6 p.m. Thursday. It gives the government and public health authorities more leeway in organizing the response effort and coordinating the actions of the civil protection and emergency services.

A number of measures are being taken to contain the coronavirus spread, from school closures to cancellations of virtually all public events in Slovenia.

The authorities have decided to start admitting patients to regional hospitals since major health centers are becoming overwhelmed.

A special decree has been adopted that in effect suspends most labour rights of health staff, who will not be allowed to go on strike, take annual leave or travel abroad.

Another major decision is the closure of all educational establishments across the entire country. The shutdown becomes effective on Monday.

Companies and public institutions have been advised to organize telecommuting to the maximum extent possible to contain the spread.

The outgoing government has adopted a bill under which it will co-finance the pay of workers who will be temporarily laid off or quarantined since many businesses will be strongly affected by the gradual winding down of public life.

Major sporting events have been cancelled as well. The Alpine Ski World Cup event, scheduled to take place in Kranjska Gora at the weekend, was cancelled and the Ski Flying World Championships at Planica, scheduled for March 19-22, postponed. The Football Association has suspended all games.

Infectious disease specialists at Slovenia's largest hospital, UKC Ljubljana, issued an urgent appeal for public life to be brought to a standstill, STA reported.

They want bans on all gatherings in public including in cinemas, museums and bars, and urged people to stay indoors in order to prevent the epidemic from unfolding the way it has in Italy, according to STA.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor made an appeal for solidarity in his first statement related to the coronavirus epidemic on Thursday. He urged Slovenians to "preserve a sense of community" and help each other.


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