LJUBLJANA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia has registered a record 1,961 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the national tally to 21,277, according to official figures released on Saturday.
The country also reported 19 deaths in the past day, bringing the death toll to 235.
The 14-day COVID-19 incidence in Slovenia is now 621 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. There are currently 13,024 active cases. Hospitalizations have gone up to 449, with 63 patients in intensive care, showed data from the official COVID-19 tracker site.
Milan Krek, the director of the National Institute for Public Health (NIJZ), told local media that the high figures do not come unexpected, while Bojana Beovic, the head of the government's COVID-19 task force, said they would climb higher.
Meanwhile, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Anze Logar had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a routine test on Friday. The minister, it said, is not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.
As of Saturday, more non-essential shops were closed to slow down the spread of the virus. The country had already introduced wide-ranging restrictions, including a 9 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, an inter-regional movement ban, limited gatherings, remote education for most children, the closure of restaurants and bars and the mandatory use of masks outdoors.
The government will review the restrictions every seven days.
As the world is struggling to contain the 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, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.