Advisors propose keeping schools open, expansion of Covid certificate use

Ljubljana – The Health Ministry’s Covid-19 advisory group on Monday prepared a proposal of restrictive measures to be introduced in various stages of the epidemic. According to unofficial information obtained by the STA, it proposes expanding the tested-vaccinated-recovered (PCT) rule if the situation deteriorates, while school closure is not envisaged.

In line with the proposal, the tiers of restrictions will be based on the number of cases in hospitals and the phases of Slovenia’s hospital activation plan, the has STA learned unofficially.

The six-stage strategy for treating Covid-19 patients determines when Covid units will open in Slovenian hospitals.

In the sixth phase, when fewer than 70 patients need hospital treatment, Covid patients are accepted only at the UKC Maribor and UKC Ljubljana hospitals.

In the fifth phase, with fewer than 150 Covid patients, the two hospitals increase the number of beds for Covid patients, and the Celje general hospital and the Golnik clinic start accepting Covid patients.

In the forth phase, which Slovenia is in at the moment, the list of hospitals is expanded to Nova Gorica in the west, Novo Mesto in the east and Murska Sobota in the north-east, and the existing capacities for Covid patients are increased. This phase is envisaged for up to 250 patients.

In the third phase, with up to 500 patients, Slovenj Gradec in the north and Jesenice in the north-west will start accepting Covid patients as well, while other Covid hospitals will increase their capacities.

When up to 700 Covid patients need hospitalisation, the second phase is activated, with capacities further increasing and patients being admitted also in Trbovlje in central Slovenia, Ptuj in the north-east, Brežice in the east and Izola on the coast.

In the ultimate, first phase, with about 900 patients, all hospitals are activated, meaning Topolščica in the north and Sežana in the south-west are added to the list of Covid hospitals.

A total of 926 beds are available in this phase, including 762 regular beds and 164 beds in intensive care.

Health Minister Janez Poklukar confirmed as he visited the Ljubljana Paediatric Clinic today that the advisory group’s proposal was based on the number of beds occupied by Covid patients. “The pace of restrictions will be dictated by the occupancy of hospital and intensive care beds,” he said.

He would not comment on the proposed measures for each phase, noting they would be presented at a press conference once agreed on.