Head of expert group warns Slovenia already entered third wave

Ljubljana – The head of Slovenia’s group of experts who advise the government on coronavirus measures has warned that the country is no longer just facing a new wave of the epidemic but is already at the start of the third wave.

“We’re definitely no longer on the verge or facing the third wave, we’re at the beginning of the third wave and we’ve started it with second-wave figures that are still high,” infectious diseases specialist Mateja Logar wrote on Twitter.

She said experts have already said everything that they know. “Now it’s up to each and everyone of us to do the maximum they can to make sure the crest is as low as possible.”

Her statement comes after a week in which daily new cases rose on average by a fifth over the week before, indication that the country has entered exponential growth.

The rolling seven-day average of new daily infections exceeded 800 after well over a month, as the prevalence of more virulent variants of coronavirus continues to rise.

However, the situation in hospitals remains stable and hospitalisations are at less than half their peak. Deaths, while slightly higher than at the lowest point, are significantly lower as well as a majority of the oldest population, which is at highest risk of severe Covid or death, has been vaccinated.

The latest official data show over 182,000 have received the first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, roughly 8.7% of the population, and almost 104,000 have received both shots.

Moreover, more than one in ten Slovenians has had a confirmed infection. While this does not preclude a reinfection, it gives most of those infected at least a degree of immunity.