Slovenia extends COVID-19 restrictions as fatalities peak

LJUBLJANA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The government of Slovenia on Friday extended key restrictive measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Store closures and the six-person ceiling for gatherings have been extended by a week. The mandatory use of face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces and obligation to use hand sanitizers have been extended by two weeks.

The autumn holidays have also been extended for a week for primary school pupils. Remote schooling will resume in secondary schools, and kindergartens will provide urgent day care only. The extensions aim to limit social contacts and thereby stem the spread of coronavirus, government spokesman Jelko Kacin and Education Minister Simona Kustec said on Friday.

Slovenia reported 1,798 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the national tally to 32,442, and 23 deaths taking the toll to 315, the highest daily death toll yet, according to official figures released here on Friday.

Slovenia conducted 6,368 coronavirus tests on Thursday, just about a thousand fewer than the day before, when 2,488 came back positive. This means that the positivity rate fell to 28.23 percent from almost 35 percent.

The 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate in Slovenia is now 1,001 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. There are currently 20,987 active cases. Hospitalizations have gone up to 703, with 122 patients in intensive care, according to the tracker site

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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