Saturday, 1 January 2022

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 5,293 new cases, 33 Deaths

ZAGREB, 1 Jan 2021 -  Croatia has registered 5,293 new coronavirus cases and 33 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Saturday.

The number of active cases in the country currently stands at 29,895. Among them are 1,752 infected persons receiving hospital treatment, including 226 who are on ventilators, and 19,935 persons are self-isolating.

A total of 3,771,640 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been conducted to date, including 14,224 in the last 24 hours when the positivity rate was 37.2%.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case of this infectious disease was confirmed in the country, 720,538 people have been registered as having contracted the new virus, of whom 12,571 have died and 678,072 have recovered, including 2,922 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 63.05% of adult Croatians have been vaccinated.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Healthcare in 2021: COVID Claims Over 8,000 Lives in Croatia

ZAGREB, 1 January 2022 2021 - Croatia entered 2021 at the peak of the COVID pandemic's second wave, and with high numbers of infections, hospital admissions, and deaths, while at the end of 2021 these numbers were several times higher.

Thus, of the total of 12,500 COVID-related deaths since the outbreak, over 8,000 persons have died in the past year.

According to data from the Croatian Institute of Public Health, in 2020 there were 4,478 COVID-related deaths, while in 2021 there were near twice as many, 8,407. About 80% of them were not vaccinated.

According to official data on the koronavirus.hr website, a total of 700,000 people in Croatia have contracted coronavirus, and the highest number of daily new cases was on 9 November, when 7,368 infections were registered.

Although the fourth wave of the pandemic is still ongoing, due to the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the virus, experts are announcing the possibility of another, fifth wave as early as the beginning of 2022. According to the latest data, 51 Omicron cases have been detected in Croatia so far.

With the arrival of the vaccine in January, mass vaccination began in Croatia, and Health Minister Vili Beroš said the goal was to inoculate 50% of the population by the summer. However, this percentage was not reached even by the end of the summer.

Two-thirds of adults vaccinated

By the end of 2021, about 55% of the total population was vaccinated, or 66% of the adult population, so Croatia is 30% behind countries with the highest vaccination rates.

Although interest in the vaccine was high among citizens at the beginning of the year, it gradually declined and inoculation nearly came to a halt in early summer. In the autumn, the interest rose again but not enough to significantly increase the immunization rate.

From jumping queue for vaccination to anti-vax protests

In a year, we went from people jumping the queue for vaccination at the very beginning, which caused public outrage and condemnation, to anti-vaccination protests, which became louder and bigger in the autumn, after mandatory COVID certificates had been introduced in the healthcare and social welfare systems and state and public institutions.

The culmination of the protests was in late November when an estimated 20,000 people gathered in Zagreb's Ban Jelačić Square, and after that threats were recorded, and even attacks of anti-vaxxers on doctors, which happened in Bjelovar.

By the end of 2021, about 4,7 million vaccine doses were administered in Croatia, 2.2 million people were vaccinated with two doses, and about half a million citizens received their third dose.

The COVID pandemic has further driven up the already huge costs of the healthcare system, and the treatment of COVID patients has so far cost Croatia about HRK 4 billion.

The hospital system has been adjusting to the epidemiological picture of coronavirus, which has meant delays in medical examinations, tests, and non-emergency procedures, which made it even more difficult for many citizens to access healthcare.

Due to huge debts, which reached HRK 6 billion, in March drug wholesalers restricted drug supplies to twenty hospitals with the largest debts for medicines and medicinal products.

The government and drug wholesalers then agreed that the debt would be repaid by the end of the year, but that did not stop new debts in the hospital system.

Although he has been announcing it, Minister Beroš still hasn't unveiled a proposal for health reform, which should streamline the system and reduce costs.

So far, there has been talking of some measures, such as a unified public procurement system, centralization of the hospital system, and consolidation of the institute of public health and emergency medicine.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

New Year's Eve Outdoor Celebrations Across Croatia Scaled Down Due to COVID

ZAGREB, 1 Jan 2021 - Several Croatian cities, including the capital city of Zagreb, held New Year Eve parties in their main squares on Friday night, while a majority of big towns scrapped plans for outdoor celebrations for 2022 amid a rising number of new cases of the infection with coronavirus.

The fear of a surge in new cases due to the appearance of the Omicron variant limited the festivities that ushered in the new 2022.

The open-air New Year celebrations in Zagreb, Osijek, and Dubrovnik were held in line with COVID protocols, and guests attending the concerts in the squares of those cities were required to have COVID certificates.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević joined the revelers in the Trg Bana Jelačića Square on late Friday night and before that he visited the Kosnica shelter for the homeless and firefighters on duty.

In Osijek and Dubrovnik, the mayors also held a toast to welcome the 2022 year.

The entertainment programs featured local pop and folk bands. There were also firework displays.

The traditional farewell parties for the outgoing 2021 year were held in the town of Fužine in the hinterland of Rijeka and some other cities at noon on Friday.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

COVID-19 Response Team Head Says Cannot Rule Out Greater Presence of Omicron

ZAGREB, 30 Dec 2021 - Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović, who heads the national COVID-19 response team, said on Thursday that considering a rising number of new infections in the last two days, one could not rule out that there were more cases of the Omicron variant than the 24 cases confirmed by sequencing so far.

Speaking to reporters after a government session, Božinović said that some link the sudden rise in new infections to the Christmas holidays while some rule that connection out.

"We cannot prove it. If the rising numbers are not related to Christmas, they are related to Omicron," he said.

Speaking of New Year Eve's celebrations, the minister said that in force was a decision on longer working hours for hospitality establishments, allowing them to work until 2 am in the night between 31 December and 1 January.

Inspectors will be visiting cafes but considering their insufficient number, not all such establishments will be covered, Božinović said, noting that he believed people would not go to places where they believe their health would be at risk.

Sinj mayor's invitation irresponsible, risky

Considering that the coastal region of Dalmatia has the highest number of infections in the country, Božinović said that local public health institutes were monitoring the situation and would decide on a possible tightening of restrictions.

As for the invitation by Sinj Mayor Miro Bulj of the Bridge party to all to attend "a free" New Year's party in Sinj in the Dalmatian hinterland, Božinović said the invitation was irresponsible and risky.

"We cannot support such calls, in Istria, all public gatherings have been canceled, and some counties have organized New Year's Eve parties but with strict checks. That is a responsible approach," he said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Croatia Logs 5,958 New Coronavirus Cases, 27 Deaths

ZAGREB, 30 Dec 2021 - Croatia has registered 5,958 new coronavirus cases and 27 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Thursday.

The number of active cases in the country currently stands at 25,521. Among them are 1,858 infected persons receiving hospital treatment, including 239 who are on ventilators, and 17,722 persons are self-isolating.

A total of 3,743,534 people have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to date, including 14,209 in the last 24 hours.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 709,678 people have been registered as having contracted the new virus, of whom 12,493 have died and 671,664  have recovered, including 2,760 in the last 24 hours.

As of 29 December, 4,708,957 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, with 55.62 percent of the total population, or 66.27 percent of the adult population, having been vaccinated. A total of 2,257,261 people have received at least one dose and 2,137,145 of them have been fully vaccinated, which is 62.90 percent of the adult population.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Tomislav Tomašević Opens First Post-COVID Polyclinic in Zagreb

December 21, 2021 - Mayor Tomislav Tomašević and his associates opened a separate post-COVID polyclinic of the Special Hospital for Lung Diseases in front of the Health Center Zagreb - East. He also referred to the new cable car and epidemiological measures for the New Year celebrations in a subsequent press conference.

Announced a few months ago and finally opened today by Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević, the new polyclinic will focus on providing treatment to patients who have recovered from COVID and have physiological sequelae from contracting the virus, Večernji List reports.

''As more than a few hundred thousand people in Croatia have already contracted COVID, there is a need to treat people who feel the consequences of this infection. Most people in Zagreb had COVID, so I welcome the City's move and the efforts to open this clinic'', says Krešimir Luetić, President of the Croatian Medical Chamber. ''Not only is Zagreb struggling with treatment, but also with the rehabilitation of people facing the infection'', Tomislav Tomašević said.

''This is just one of the steps we will take to take care of these patients. The facility has handled more than 2,500 post COVID patients, an incredible number. I thank all the health workers who made superhuman efforts and I hope that we will finally welcome the end of this pandemic'', said the mayor. ''The polyclinic has already started working and treats about ten patients a day, and specialist diagnostics will soon start, which will treat about twenty patients a day'', added Luetić.

"These are mostly patients with lung problems, but there are also those with cardiovascular problems," he said. Asked why Croatia is at the top of the list of seriously ill and mortal, Luetić said that the most likely reason was the low vaccination rate. He also called on the citizens to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose.

''The medicine we are talking about is intended for the acutely ill. He will certainly help some of the sick, but it is not the way we will be able to cure all the infected'', says Luetić. A regular press conference followed. Asked about putting the cable car into operation, Tomašević said the legal framework was changing to obtain the necessary permits.

''If it's January, it'll be fine. The sooner it opens, the better for the City’s revenue. As far as ticket prices are concerned, we have elected a new president of the ZET board, and we will inform the public about the prices and the system soon'', he stated. Tomislav Tomašević was also asked about New Year's Eve as it will be, probably on Jelačić Square, where he will be able to do a certain part with COVID certificates. The program is nearing completion, and will soon be released.

''It will be, I believe, extended shortly after midnight. It depends on the measures of the Headquarters'', he said.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more on COVID-19, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 20 December 2021

Coronavirus Update: 367 New Cases, 62 Deaths

ZAGREB, 20 Dec 2021 - In the last 24 hours, of 2,208 tests conducted for coronavirus in Croatia, 16.7% (367) have returned positive, and another 62 COVID patients have died, raising the COVID-related death toll to 12,043, Croatia's COVID crisis management team reported on Monday.

There are currently 19,570 active cases of infection in the country, and of them, 2,178 are hospitalized patients, including 268 placed on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of infection with the novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, 675,730 people have been diagnosed with this infectious disease, and of them, 644,117 have recovered to date, including 3,341 in the last 24 hours.

So far, 2,242,791 residents have got vaccinated and the rate of fully vaccinated adults stands at 61.59%.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Friday, 17 December 2021

Croatia Logs 3,778 New Coronavirus Cases, 54 Deaths

ZAGREB, 17 Dec 2021 - Croatia has registered 3,778 new coronavirus cases and 54 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Friday.

Currently, there are 23,931 active cases in the country. Among them are 2,188 infected persons receiving hospital treatment and 288 of them are on ventilators. A total of 23,619 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first infection with the SARS CoV-2 virus was confirmed in the country, 669,940 people have been registered as having contracted the new virus, of whom 11,879 have died and 634,130 have recovered, including 3,875 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 3,627,745 persons have been tested to date, including 11,870 in the last 24 hours.

As of Thursday, 4,490,656 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, with 55.15 per cent of the total population, or 65.74 per cent of the adult population, having been vaccinated. A total of 2,237,974 people have received at least one dose and 2,073,410 of them have been fully vaccinated, which is 61.1 per cent of the adult population.

For more news, follow TCN's dedicated news page.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 3,765 New Cases, 46 Deaths

ZAGREB, 16 Dec 2021 - In the last 24 hours, of 11,713 tests conducted for coronavirus in Croatia, 3,765 (32%) have turned out to be positive, and 46 more COVID patients have died, raising the death toll to 11,825, the country's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Thursday.

Currently, there are 24,082 active cases of the infection in Croatia, with 2,253 of them in hospital, including 286 patients placed on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, 666,162 people have been diagnosed with this infectious disease, and of them, 630,255 have recovered so far, including 3,346 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

During the vaccine rollout plan, 2,235,161 persons have been given at least a jab, and 60.85% of adults have fully been vaccinated.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Scientist: Several Thousand More Lives to Be Lost if We Don't Prepare for Fifth Wave

ZAGREB, 16 Dec 2021 - If Croatia does not prepare for the fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the infectious disease is likely to claim several thousand more lives, academician Ivan Đikić, a Croatian scientist who works in Germany, said in a letter to PM Andrej Plenković and Health Minister Vili Beroš on Thursday.

Calling on the government to acquaint the public with its future strategy, Đikić expressed concern about the gravity of the situation and the danger of a fifth wave of the pandemic that could claim a large number of lives in Croatia.

Đikić said that he received on a daily basis queries from concerned citizens who wonder how they should behave in the current situation, who should get a booster dose, if the booster dose protects against the Omicron variant, which tests are safe, etc.

50 COVID-related deaths a day very high figure

It is a fact that Croatia is close to the top of the EU ranking in terms of the number of coronavirus deaths per million people during the fourth wave, and this sounds the alarm and calls for urgent preventive action, he said.

"Around 50 people die of COVID-19 in Croatia on a daily basis, which is a very high figure. If we do not prepare early enough for the fifth wave, we are set to lose several thousand more citizens during the fifth wave," he said, calling on the PM and the health minister to present accurate data and risks related to the Omicron variant and inform citizens about the government's future strategy.

Omicron dangerous variant, booster dose contributes to protection against it

Noting that the Omicron variant is a dangerous variant, two to three times more contagious than the Delta variant, Đikić called on Plenković and Beroš to ensure fast detection and monitoring of the Omicron variant, present a strategy to prevent the fifth wave of the pandemic, and encourage all citizens above 18 to get a booster dose.

Currently available data shows that additional vaccination has a significant positive effect and contributes to protection also against the Omicron variant, Đikić said, calling for launching a more serious vaccination campaign so as to achieve a significant level of collective protection and prevent excessive pressure on hospitals and fatalities.

He also said the Health Ministry should provide accurate and clear information on testing for coronavirus, describing as wrong messages that suggest citizens should get tested for cellular immunity as the best indicator of whether one should get a booster dose.

According to available data, a cellular immunity test based on which an official decision would be made on additional vaccination has not been approved anywhere in the world, he said, but added that there have been cases of citizens testing positive for cellular immunity and being advised not to get a booster dose after which they contracted the disease.

Đikić also called on the government not to allow profiteering related to coronavirus tests, warning that wrongly interpreted COVID tests can lead citizens to believe that they are protected even though they are not, thus causing the already complex epidemiological situation to worsen.

Warning of numerous cases of scientifically unfounded statements in the media, made by individual scientists, including members of the government's scientific council, "to which neither the Health Ministry nor the government had reacted timely", Đikić said that this caused unnecessary damage and undermined citizens' trust in state institutions.

"Respond competently, clearly, and timely to scientifically unfounded statements in the media," he said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

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