2020 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case was officially confirmed in Slovenia on 4 March 2020. It was imported case from by a tourist traveling from Morocco via Italy, which is the center of the SARS-CoV-2 in Europe. First days of the pandemic were challenging for Slovenia due to the resignation of Prime MinisterMarjan Šarec in late January and the consequent formation of new government. First case was confirmed one day after Janez Janša was elected Prime Minister. During the transition period, the outbreak escalated. A joint meeting between the outgoing and incoming government was held on 10 March 2020. Outgoing caretaker government of Marjan Šarec was responsible for the crisis management until 14 March 2020.
There were 313 tests performed between 7 January 2020 and 3 March 2020, all of them were negative. Note that this number is added to the total tests performed number above. Also, number of cases varies in different references, since Ministry of Health and National Institute of Public Health do not issue new data at the same time.
4 March 2020: First case, imported, a tourist traveling from Morocco via Italy.
5 March 2020: 5 new cases confirmed, two of them were in contact with the first case, others were imported from Italy as well.
6 March 2020: 2 cases confirmed also in Maribor, both medical personnel in the main hospital who contracted the illness on skiing holidays in Italy; Another patient is a medical doctor from Metlika, the source of his infection is also a trip to Italy. Total number of infected cases was 8.
7 March 2020: One of the patients was in contact with the doctor from Metlika, while the others have returned from traveling abroad (one each from Italy, Austria and Spain); government banned all public gatherings in closed spaces with 500 people or more; 4 new cases, 12 in total confirmed out of 785 tests.
8 March 2020: One of the patients was infected at her workplace in Switzerland, and has self-quarantined before she was tested; among the new cases were also three medical personnel from Metlika, who were in contact with the infected doctor; 4 new cases, 16 in total confirmed.
9 March 2020: One of the patients returned from Venice, others were medical personnel, some in contact with the doctor from Metlika; government further restricted public gatherings in closed spaces to events of 100 people or more; events in the open are restricted to 500 visitors; additionally, temperature checks were introduced at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport and the border with Italy, 9 new cases, 25 in total confirmed.
10 March 2020: The government banned all incoming flights from Italy, South Korea, Iran and China to prevent further spread; the land border with Italy was closed for all but freight transport; 9 new cases, 34 in total confirmed.
11 March 2020: Civil Defence took over the coordination of the response; a primary school in Kamnik was closed for two weeks, to prevent spread from a teacher that tested positive. New infections were also reported from Murska Sobota and Postojna; 23 new cases, 57 in total confirmed.
12 March 2020: An epidemic was declared in Slovenia; the government announced that all educational institutions would be closed from 16 March onwards; medical personnel were prohibited from taking holidays; the first cases were reported from Nova Gorica and Kranj, 39 new cases, 89 in total confirmed.
13 March 2020: The new government took office; Crisis Management Staff of the Republic of Slovenia in order to contain and manage the COVID-19 epidemic (CMS) was established, led by Prime Minister Janez Janša; all non-urgent medical examinations were postponed; 45 new cases, in total 141 confirmed.
14 March 2020: CMS stopped public transport (effective from Monday, 16 March) and suspended all unnecessary services in the country; prices of safety equipment were frozen, to prevent inflation due to lack of supply; the government no longer tested all possible cases, but only those who were hospitalised to quarantine them; the total number of cases would be estimated based on the statistics from other countries (from percentage of those who are hospitalised); 40 new cases, in total 181 confirmed out of 5,369 tests; first death (a man from a nursing home in Metlika).
15 March 2020: The government closed all restaurants and bars effective 16 March. Public parking places in Ljubljana were made free for the time being. The Ljubljana Zoo closed down; 38 new cases, 219 total out of 6156 tests.
16 March 2020: The government closed all restaurants and bars. Public parking places in Ljubljana, Maribor, Murska Sobota were made free for the time being; all educational institutions, including kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, closed down. 34 new cases, 253 total out of 6712 tests (until 14:20).
17 March 2020: There were 22 new confirmed cases, 275 total out of 7857 tests.
18 March 2020: There were 11 new confirmed cases, 286 total out of 8730 tests.
19 March 2020: There were 33 new confirmed cases, 319 total out of 9860 tests.
20 March 2020: De facto quarantine (with some exemptions) was established in Slovenia; 22 new confirmed cases, 341 total out of 10980 tests.
21 March 2020: There were 42 new confirmed cases, 383 total out of 12162 tests.
22 March 2020: There were 31 new confirmed cases, 414 total out of 13098 tests; second death case confirmed (a 90-year-old woman from a nursing home in Metlika).
23 March 2020: There were 28 new confirmed cases, 442 in total out of 13812 tests; third death confirmed (67-year-old man in UMC Ljubljana). The Slovenian government once again changed the methodology of testing. People over 60 and those with immune deficiencies and mild symptoms will now be tested. Until now only those who were hospitalized were tested.
24 March 2020: There were 38 new confirmed cases, 480 in total. Government abolished the Crisis Management Staff since the transition is ended and ministries can fully perform their duties now. Ten patients from Ljubljana UMC have reportedly recovered.
25 March 2020: There were 48 new confirmed cases, 528 in total.
Crisis Management Staff
Staff was abolished on 24 March 2020. Duties were transferred on responsible ministries.
Aleš Šabeder, Minister of Health in the 13th government; led the crisis response until the 14th government took office, held the first press conference announcing the details of the first case, later held press conferences several times a day; took the first measures (limiting public gatherings to 500 and then 100 people; prohibited medical personnel from taking holidays during the epidemic; closed the border with Italy for body temperature control)
Nina Pirnat, director of the National Institute of Public Health; assisted minister Šabeder during the outbreak, daily delivered information on new cases