Coronavirus Update: National Civil Protection Helds Press Conference

Coronavirus Update: National Civil Protection Helds Press Conference

November 26, 2021 - Today, the National Civil Protection offered a coronavirus update through a press conference in which they commented on the latest related to COVID-19 in the country, from the number of infected in the last 24 hours, the COVID certificates, the tests, and the variant discovered in South Africa.

As reported by, the National Civil Protection Headquarters held a press conference at which new data on the situation with coronavirus in Croatia and the world were presented. The conference was delayed by about 15 minutes. First, data on newly infected people were presented, so it was said that today we have 5,460 new cases, and 75 people have died. "Among the dead are 14 vaccinated, one with three doses and one partially," it was said.

Krunoslav Capak presented data on those infected on this day two weeks ago. "We have 10 percent more new cases this week than last. The incidence average is 1619.17. The share of positives in those tested today is 39.6%. In the last seven days, 40.1% and since the beginning 17.4%", he said.

Speaking about the dead, Capak said that out of 75 dead, 60 were not vaccinated with any dose, and 61 did not complete the vaccination in total. “Of the 37 deceased, over the age of 80, 34 were not vaccinated, or 92 percent. In the last 24 hours, 34 people were put on a respirator, 26 of whom were not vaccinated,", he added.

Božinović talks about COVID recommendations

Davor Božinović announced a special decision on border restrictions with regard to the new variant of the virus, as well as that a recommendation from the level of the European Commission will follow. “This applies to people coming from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Hong Kong,” he said. He said that entering Croatia from those countries would either be banned or that our people coming from them would have to be quarantined for 14 days, and stressed that the new detected strain has the potential to be more contagious than the delta.

Božinović continued to talk about COVID certificates. Yesterday, the European Commission proposed that certificates after vaccination should last for nine months, and Božinović said that we currently apply 12 months after the booster dose because it is not known how long the immunity will last. The ECDC also announced yesterday that new guidelines are being worked on for COVID certificates, which would also look at the percentage of those vaccinated with regard to those infected.

What about those who got over it and got vaccinated

Journalists asked when it would be decided on the COVID certificates, to which he said it would likely be mid-December. He also confirmed that for all those who have COVID certificates valid for one year, there will be a period for receiving a booster dose.

Some new decisions for Advent are not currently being considered, he confirmed, because it is an outdoor event after all. The journalists also asked what happened to the people who got sick and got vaccinated, what happened to their confirmations. "If someone is vaccinated with two doses after recovering, it is counted as if he received three doses and he is issued aCOVID certificate for one year. "I don't know what the EU practice will be, but we will, if it is mandatory, harmonize with the EU," he said.

Markotić explained the new strain

Alemka Markotić answered questions about the new strain, according to which it is a danger considering the measures that are being introduced and how it affects the vaccine. "Several cases have occurred in several countries, it is known that there are more than thirty different mutations at the spike protein level and that is why all countries are concerned, and the WHO is preparing certain meetings to discuss what this could mean. This large number of mutations, especially on the spike protein, can affect its binding to receptors or the effectiveness of the vaccine'', she said.

Markotić indicated that everything should be examined quickly. "All measures will certainly be taken to obtain results, at least in laboratory conditions. It is good that there are not many cases outside Africa or in Africa itself,” concluding that she hoped to learn more about the virus in the coming weeks.

Capak: 'We only had seven cases of delta plus'

Capak first said that so far we have had only seven cases of delta plus variants and that it does not have a great potential for spread, and for the latest strain he said they could mean that it could have a much higher potential for spread.

"The question is how it will spread from South Africa to countries with more vaccination, the fact that it broke into Hong Kong does not mean that it will be the same in other countries," he said, adding that the best protection is entry bans for foreign nationals from those countries and 14 days of quarantine for our citizens with testing prior departure.

Long debate on amendments to the Act

The journalists also asked about the amendments to the Law, which is in public consultation, and which contains an article according to which the sanitary inspector could order vaccination of persons exposed to the virus. They asked how it was, and they did not receive a concrete answer from the Headquarters, Božinović only said that the law was in consultation and that everything would be analyzed.

When asked to further clarify this, he replied: "We are dealing with other, more urgent aspects, I did not participate in the amendments to the law." Asked if it is not unbelievable that they do not know what is written in the amendments to the Law, Božinović said that he would get an answer to that question during the day. “We can’t give you an answer to that question,” he said, adding that he would clarify that later.

Božinović and Beroš managed to clarify everything

Somewhat later, Božinović returned to this issue, saying that the issue was not clearly formulated, so he explains that two points were added to the Law. "My colleague received an answer in the meantime, it says that I can order the implementation of the security measure of the obligation to present evidence, which means that you have to show COVID confirmation that you have been tested, vaccinated, or recovered. We can also order the removal of people who have entered certain areas", he said.

“If you had seen what I read now, you would have seen that it relates to the obligation to present evidence,” he said. The floor is taken by Minister Vili Beroš, who says that the journalist is commenting on an earlier article that already exists in the Law. "It is not at all a tendency for a sanitary inspector to order someone to be vaccinated. This article exists when a sanitary inspector can order it for hepatitis for example. But, as there is no obligation to vaccinate, no one will be able to order compulsory vaccination to anyone", said Beroš, adding that he thinks that everything has been explained.

Božinović concluded that no one plans to introduce a coronavirus vaccination obligation. The journalists were also interested in whether they were considering changing the recommendations with regard to the new strain of the virus and self-isolation, to which Capak said that he was not thinking about it yet.

Beroš: 'We support testing but it is not the best'

Beroš was asked if there were any plans to expand testing in the health system, to which he said that all the circumstances were taken into account and that the third dose was therefore emphasized. "We support testing, but it is not the best. Only through a combination of recovery, vaccination, and testing can we give a guarantee, but even that is not absolute", he said and added that COVID certificates protect those who fight against them, the unvaccinated.

Capak also referred to the theses that appear in public, especially among the protesters, that the vaccinated and the unvaccinated transmit the virus equally. "It's not true, we need to be aware of that," he said. He added that scientific papers if read should be cited and said that vaccinated people did not transmit the virus during the alpha variant, in the delta they can carry the virus on the mucosa but they are not contagious.

However, he added that they can get sick and transmit the virus or have a virus on the mucous membrane that increases and can be transmitted, and stressed that it is all far less than in the unvaccinated. "People who are vaccinated transmit the virus less, the number of virus particles on their mucous membranes drops very quickly, and thus the contagion. This is scientifically proven," he said, adding that no country in the world tests all health workers on admission to hospitals. In the end, Božinović called on everyone to adhere to basic measures, wearing a mask, distance, ventilation, and maintaining personal hygiene.

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