Slovenia logs 918 coronavirus cases for Wednesday, six deaths

Ljubljana – Slovenia saw its daily coronavirus count tick up again week-on-week after declining on Tuesday bank holiday. It logged 918 new infections on Wednesday, and six deaths, government data show.

Marking an increase of 23% from a week ago, the latest cases were confirmed from 3,937 PCR tests for a positivity rate of 23.3%, the highest rate since 9 April. As many as 34,314 rapid antigen tests were also performed.

Covid-19 hospitalisations rose by 15 to 636 despite 59 patients being discharged yesterday. The number of patients in intensive care rose by two to 157.

The 7-day average of new cases rose to 632 from 606 the day before and the cumulative 14-day incidence per 100,000 residents increased by two to 439.

Region-wise, Zasavska in central Slovenia has the highest 14-day incidence per 100,000, at 644, and Obalno-Kraška in the south-west has the lowest, at 234.

According to the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), there are now 9,284 active cases in the country, of a total of 239,343 so far confirmed.

A table published on the Health Ministry’s website puts the overall death toll at 4,547.

Tjaša Žohar Čretnik, the head of the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food, told reporters today that the highly virulent UK variant of the virus had plateaued being present in more than 90% of the samples subjected to genome sequencing.

Moreover, in the South Eastern, Pomurje and Primorska-Notranjska regions the share of the variant is 100%.

The presence of other strains is declining as is the diversity of confirmed variants.

Only eight new cases of the Nigerian strain were recorded in the last round of sequencing, one case of the South Africa variant, eight cases of the b.11318 variant first detected two weeks ago and no new case of the Brazilian mutation.

The mutation present only in Slovenia is yet to be fully confirmed, but “considering the prevalence of the UK variant we assume, the variant, even if we manage to confirm it, will not affect the course of the epidemic in Slovenia,” said Žohar Čretnik.

NIJZ data show 413,033 people have received the first dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 and 180,084 have received two, which means 8.6% of the population has been fully immunised.

The institute told the STA that no shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine was expected in Slovenia next month, which was also confirmed by the head of the national advisory committee on immunisation Bojana Beović.

As the second shot of the vaccine usually follows nine to twelve weeks after the first jab, Beović said the second dose could be postponed for a few extra weeks after the first twelve weeks have passed.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine … provides very good protection already after the first shot. Delaying [the second shot] from 12 to 14 or 16 weeks brings no significant change,” she added.