In a world where countries are reporting surging cases of Coronavirus, there is one country that has beaten the virus. Slovenia has become the first Coronavirus free country in Europe. Europe has been reeling under the impact of the Coronavirus and countries like Italy and Spain were the worst hit. In contrast, Slovenia declared that it is free of the Coronavirus and will be easing restrictions that are imposed. This announcement was on the 14th of May by the Slovenian government. Read on to find out the chronology of the Coronavirus spread in Slovenia and the services that are resuming.
First Coronavirus Free Country eases restrictions
Slovenia is a small hilly nation of about 2 million people. It reported its first COVID-19 patient on 2nd March. This patient has just returned from Italy that was already ravaged by the Coronavirus. On 12th March, Slovenia declared a Coronavirus epidemic within the country. Within a period of just 2 months, the number of cases in Slovenia is now very low. Slovenia reported a total tally of about 1500 COVID-19 cases and 103 deaths.
The Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Jansa said that his country had the best epidemic situation in Europe. This prompted the government to remove the general epidemic stature. However, he did express that there is a chance that the virus may spread again. He said that virus isn’t eradicated and is still present. In light of this, some safety measures would still be kept in place. Experts have said that no European country apart from Slovenia has declared that the epidemic is over. This calls for caution to be exercised within Slovenia lest they lose out on their significant progress due to callousness.
The Slovenian government has started relaxing the restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 spread. The government’s official Twitter handle too, put out this message. The relaxation was from 13th May and the next 14 days will be treated as an observation period. Any spike in cases in this duration will lead to the re-imposition of restrictions. Before June, no further relaxations are to be considered. Public gatherings and events are still banned in Slovenia. It is mandatory that everyone wears masks in public and maintains social distancing. Hotels and shopping centers will open from the next week onwards. Sports matches and activities like Football will happen from May 23 onwards.
Residents of the EU are now free to enter the country through set checkpoints. The residents can come in through Italy, Hungary, and Austria. Any non-EU citizens entering the country will be put into a 14-day quarantine mandatorily. This is to prevent the influx of new cases into the country, which could lead to a second wave of the epidemic. Slovenia now needs to focus on retaining the strides that they have made in the fight against COVID-19.
Amidst all the glom surrounding COVID-19 and the rising tally of cases in every country, this is welcome news. Slovenia has given the world hope that one day we will able to beat the virus and contain further spread through safety measures.