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Slovenia records first death due to coronavirus

by Reuters
Saturday, 14 March 2020 23:12 GMT

(Updates with death confirmation, shut down of public transport)

LJUBLJANA, March 14 (Reuters) - Slovenia has recorded its first death due to coronavirus, Health Minister Tomaz Gantar told national channel TV Slovenia on Saturday. According to TV Slovenia the victim was an elderly man with a chronic disease.

Later on Saturday the government decided to shut down public transport from Monday, national news agency STA reported.

"We are trying to reduce the spread of the coronavirus infection and are limiting contacts of larger groups of people in all areas...The decrees are necessary because since we are close to the scenario we see in neighbouring Italy," Gantar said.

The government said earlier there were 181 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, up from 141 reported on Friday, three of whom were in intensive care.

In recent days Slovenia has closed all schools and introduced health checks at its border with Italy. It cancelled train and bus traffic with Italy and limited cargo traffic from there.

Most public events were cancelled and many public institutions are closed. The foreign ministry has advised against any travel to Italy or Spain.

The Catholic church cancelled all masses from Friday to prevent the spread of the disease. (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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