Slovenia's total COVID-19 cases exceed 30,000

LJUBLJANA, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia reported 2,488 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the national tally to 30,644, according to official figures released here on Thursday.

The country conducted 7,202 coronavirus tests on Wednesday, which means 34.55 percent of these came back positive, roughly on a par with the rate the day before.

In another worrying milestone, the number of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in intensive care units exceeded 100, at 109, as hospitalisations rose to 660, according to official figures. Slovenia also reported 14 deaths in the past day, bringing the toll to 292.

The government's COVID-19 spokesperson Jelko Kacin noted that the worst affected region remains Gorenjska in the northwest, where nearly 20 percent of the latest infections were recorded. 337 were confirmed in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

Nuska Caks Jager, deputy head of the infectious diseases centre of the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ), told the press on Thursday that a considerable increase in infections was among the 35 to 45-year-olds, with the share of infected women across all age groups higher than that of infected men.

Meanwhile, expert Mateja Logar of the department of infectious diseases of UKC Ljubljana said that all ICU beds for COVID-19 patients were full.

Of 163 COVID-19 patients hospitalised at UKC Ljubljana Thursday morning, 35 were in intensive care, she said, adding that work was under way to secure more beds, but the problem was with staffing.

As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines were being developed worldwide, 44 of them in clinical trials.

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