Sunday, 16 May 2021

Post-Covid Wedding Pilot Party in Croatia Held with 130 Maskless Guests

May 16, 2021 - The first post-Covid wedding pilot party in Croatia was held on Saturday in Zagreb with 130 maskless guests.

Jutarnji List reports that on Saturday night, after more than a year, wedding guests hugged, danced, kissed, and enjoyed fine food and drinks with the hope that in one week, they will all test negative and thus prove that such celebrations can take place without any problems.

The president of the Independent Association of Caterers, Žaklina Troskot, opened the "wedding ceremony" on Saturday night at the Riverside Golf Club in Zagreb. It is an experimental gathering organized by the association in cooperation with the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the National Civil Protection Headquarters.


Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

About 130 participants gathered for the ceremony. Ladies wore formal gowns, men donned suits, and the band “Prava Stvar” dusted off famous hits. As the organizers said, everything was done to simulate a real wedding ceremony as we were used to in the time before the coronavirus pandemic. There were no masks, no social distancing, or any measures, but the rules for entering the most anticipated “wedding” of the year were rigorous. Only those who have been vaccinated with both doses, have recovered from the coronavirus, or have a recent negative test for coronavirus could enter the wedding hall. Journalists also had to take the test to maintain maximum safety.


Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

The wedding menu was also festive. Guests were served Dalmatian prosciutto as an appetizer, accompanied by a selection of homemade cheeses and salamis, smoked tuna salad, spring rolls, and sushi. This was followed by gorgonzola with marinated peaches, pears, nuts, baby octopus salad with vegetables, Istrian olives and cheese, a selection of salads, rump steak, and homemade baked štruklji. Among the main dishes were pork rolls stuffed with bacon, forest fruit sauce with homemade gnocchi, chicken medallions in panko crumbs with risotto, and roasted veal "ala peka" with potatoes and vegetables all finished with desserts.


Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

Among the guests was a prominent Zagreb doctor Dr. sc. Damir Eljuga, who has recovered from the coronavirus. He expressed hope that this is just one “pilot event” that gives us all hope that we will return to normal life. Of course, he said, provided we all get vaccinated to “beat this unfortunate disease.”

A member of the band "Prava Stvar" also addressed the press, saying that he was delighted that the band could perform at a wedding like this after a long time.

"Prava Stvar has not performed since September 2020, but if we take into account that the corona has been going on for more than a year, we are talking about fifty canceled weddings and other events. This resulted in a large financial loss and a drop in revenue of about 80%, which is not reflected only in the band's six members, so we are talking about twenty people who were greatly affected by the coronavirus and inability to play. I must mention that some of us are only engaged in this business and have no other income, so they had to start doing other jobs to survive. When I talk about these fifty lost opportunities/gigs, I also mean abroad, such as Austria, Germany. In Slovenia, too, we were supposed to be engaged in several wedding ceremonies. To add that this band has been performing for twenty years, it’s our anniversary soon. We all love it very much, we love music, it fulfills us, and that is our way of life. We really miss gigs, and we can't wait for everything to return to normal so that we can start living, working, and functioning as we used to. I am very proud that our band Prava Stvar was chosen for this pilot project and that we have the opportunity to participate in it, it means a lot to us, and I hope that we will return to the old way soon," he said.

The organizers hope the project will be successful. This will be evidenced by negative tests after a week, given that all participants in both events, as they agreed, will be tested for the coronavirus. If everyone is negative, they hope that this kind of study will open the door to a return to wedding halls, banquets, and the way of life we are all used to.

The president of the Troskot Association said she was extremely pleased with the project.

"After a very successful first pilot project held on Thursday, which more than 80 people attended, tonight was the second pilot project to show that wedding ceremonies are safe. Three groups of guests are present: those who have recovered, have been vaccinated, and have been tested. Tonight, this is a simulation of a real wedding only without the bride and groom, but with a rich dinner and the performance of a live band," she said in conclusion.

For all, you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 1,342 New Cases, 36 Deaths,1,866 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 8 May 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, 1,342 new cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Croatia, and there have been 36 related deaths bringing the death toll to 7,424, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Saturday.

The number of active cases in Croatia today stands at 10,705. There are 2,016 COVID patients in hospitals, 235 of whom are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case of the infection with the novel virus, a total of 343,829 people have been registered as having contracted coronavirus, and 325,700 have recovered, including 1,866 n the last 24 hours.

There are 28,152 people in self-isolation.

To date, 1,871,290 people have been tested, including 7,985 over the past 24 hours when the percentage of positive tests stood at 17%.

One in four adults vaccinated against COVID-19

Since the start of the implementation of the vaccine rollout plan at the beginning of this year, 835,320 people have been vaccinated. Of them, nearly 244,000 have received both shots of the two-dose vaccine.

The Croatian Institute of Public Health underscores that to date 25% of the adult population has received COVID vaccines.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 349 New Cases, 36 Deaths, 2,087 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 3 May 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 349 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 36 deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

The number of active cases in Croatia today stands at 11,378. There are 2,247 COVID patients in hospitals, 244 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the first confirmed case of the infection in Croatia on 25 February 2020, a total of 335,522 people have been registered as having contracted coronavirus, 7,218 of them have died, while 316,926 have recovered, including 2,087 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 30,225 people in self-isolation.

To date, 1,827,068 people have been tested, including 4,193 over the past 24 hours.

 As of 2 May, 908,839 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Croatia, and 708,137 people have been vaccinated, with 504,856 people receiving the first dose and 200,702 receiving both doses. For 2,579 people there is no data on how many doses they have received.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules to the locations of vaccination points and testing centres throughout the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Croatia Reports 944 New Coronavirus Cases, 52 Deaths

ZAGREB, 2 May 2021 - Croatia has registered 944 new coronavirus cases and 52 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Sunday.

The number of active cases currently stands at 13,152. Among them are 2,223 infected people who are hospitalized, including 240 who are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 335,173 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 7,182 have died and 314,839 have recovered, including 2,016 in the last 24 hours. Currently, 32,614 people are self-isolating.

A total of 1,822,875 people have been tested to date, including 8,370 in the last 24 hours.

So far, 907,575 vaccine doses have been administered; 503,960 people have received the first dose and 200,518 have received both doses. For 2,579 people there is no information on the number of doses administered.

The head of the national coronavirus response team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, said that the daily number of new cases was on the decline.

"We have a reason for optimism, but only if we comply with the measures aimed at protecting people'', Božinović told the press during a visit to the eastern town of Borovo.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules to the locations of vaccination points and testing centres throughout the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Croatia Reports 2,046 New Coronavirus Cases, 49 deaths

ZAGREB, 1 May, 2021 - A total of 2,046 new coronavirus cases have been registered in Croatia in the last 24 hours and 49 people have died from COVID-19, the national coronavirus response team reported on Saturday.

The number of active cases now stands at 14,276. Currently, 2,210 infected people are receiving hospital treatment, including 246 who are on ventilators, and 34,826 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 334,229 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 7,130 have died and 312,823 have recovered, including 2,228 in the last 24 hours.

So far, 901,120 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 702,470 people have been vaccinated, including 501,257 who have received the first shot and 198,650 who have received both shots. For 2,563 people there are no data on how many doses they received.

A fifth of adults have received at least one dose

According to data from the eCijepih platform, a fifth of the adult population in Croatia, or 20.9%, have received at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19, which is in accordance with the vaccination plan conducted by the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ).

Most of the vaccinated people are 70 years and older, of whom 54% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Given a large number of vaccine doses due to arrive in May and June, the HZJZ expects that at least 1,848,462 people, or 55% of the adult population, will be inoculated by July.

For more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Croatia Logs 410 New Coronavirus Cases, 51 Deaths

ZAGREB, 26 April, 2021 - In the past 24 hours a total of 3,417 tests were conducted in Croatia, with 410 returning positive to coronavirus while 51 people died in that period, that national COVID response team reported on Monday.

There are currently 13,432 active cases in the country, 2,315 of whom are hospitalised patients and 259 of them are on ventilators.

Since the first case was identified in Croatia, there have been 323,036 registered cases of coronavirus in the country and 6,905 people have died as a consequence.

A total of 302,699 people have recovered, with 2,207 recovering in the past 24 hours.

The share of positive cases among those tested in the past 24 hours is about 12%, which is 3% less than last Monday.

There are currently 31,841 people in self-isolation.

To date a total of 1,762,625 persons have been tested.

As of 25 April 795,597 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered, inoculating 627,216 people.

Of that number 456,398 have received the first dose and 168,381 have received both doses, while in 2,437 cases it is not sure which of the two doses they have received.

To read more about coronavirus in Croatia, follow our Covid-19 in Croatia guide.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Devastating Vaccination Figures in Croatia for Over 65 Age Group

April 19, 2021 - Croatia is already beginning its third phase of vaccination, but the vaccination figures in Croatia regarding the over 65 age group are hardly satisfactory. 

Jutarnji List reports that in the second phase of vaccination, which ended in most parts of the country, only 38.6 percent of people over the age of 65 were vaccinated. However, according to data provided by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, the vaccine was offered to everyone.

According to estimates, 853,784 people over the age of 65 live in Croatia, and at least one dose of the vaccine was received by 329,367, or 38.6 percent, according to the CNIPH. Only 6.6 percent of those over 65 received both doses of the vaccine, but they are expected to receive a second dose. These are data until April 12.

Thus, a few days before the end of the second phase of vaccination, as many as 61.4 percent of people over 65 did not receive the vaccine.

While CNIPH did not explain why, experts are convinced that most of the problem lies in the fact that vaccination candidates have massively refused to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Croatia had the most of. 

In short, at the time we start the third phase of vaccination, which includes the general population and priority vaccinations of employees in certain sectors, such as tourism and education, Croatia's seniors are not vaccinated satisfactorily.

A bad image of this vaccine has been created in the public, which is why all HZJZ vaccination lines are overwhelmed by calls for rejections for AstraZeneca.

"People are ready to be vaccinated, but when they are told that they will get AstraZeneca, they give up; that is, they say that they will wait for another vaccine. Initially, after the approval of AstraZeneca, it was rejected only by the elderly because then it was questionable whether it affects people over 65. After the story with clots appeared, the vaccine is also rejected by the younger ones," said HZJZ unofficially. 

The Ministry of Health also confirmed a few days ago that the problem is with people refusing the AstraZenecina vaccine.

"Irrespective of when the application is registered on the platform, senior citizens and patients with chronic diseases have priority, and invitations to young people and those without chronic diseases are sent only in case those from the priority groups refuse to fill the capacity of the mass vaccination point at the Zagreb Fair. This is the sole reason for getting an appointment at a mass vaccination point with individual citizens from the younger group concerning the priority group. Such a principle will be followed in the next calls for vaccinations at the checkpoint," said the relevant Ministry.

In the priority phase, which ended a long time ago, 52,449 health workers were vaccinated, or 71.4 percent of them, which means that almost every third health worker was not vaccinated.

"The highest vaccination coverage was achieved for people aged 80 and over, of whom more than 44 percent received the first or second dose," said the CNIPH.

The data show that confidence in the vaccine declines with age. Thus, the highest share of vaccinated is among those over 100 years of age: out of 142 of them living in Croatia, 84 or 59 percent were vaccinated. Half of our citizens aged 95 to 99, of whom there are 1,630, were vaccinated, while 48 percent of those aged 90 to 94 were vaccinated. The least vaccinated in the priority group are those aged 65 to 69, where only 73,979 or 28 percent of the total of 267,320 have been vaccinated so far. Confidence in the vaccine grows with age so that the next monitored age group of 70 to 74 has a vaccine share of 43 percent.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković pointed out that the goal is to vaccinate 55 percent of the total adult population by July 1. Is this possible with such a response?

"Our goal is to vaccinate more than 50 or 55 percent of the adult population with the first dose by at least July 1, and with those that have recovered, we could talk about very significant protection of the population from COVID-19," said the Prime Minister.

But to reach that percentage, they would have to vaccinate 17,747 citizens a day. It is logistically feasible, given that Zagreb alone can vaccinate ten thousand people a day, but the question is whether there will be enough interested people. Only about 150,000 citizens are registered on the platform, and the numbers are as follows: According to the latest CBS estimate, Croatia has slightly less than 3.4 million adult citizens (3,364,426), and 55 percent of that number is 1,850,434.

When the already vaccinated are taken away, it follows that 1,331,059 citizens should be immunized by July 1. Despite all the problems, it is positive that many additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been procured, which citizens are more inclined to get. According to the latest data, 1.8 million doses of the vaccine should arrive in Croatia by the end of June.

"Pfizer has increased the availability of vaccines for Croatia. From the fourth week of April, these doses will be significantly higher, or about 100 thousand doses; in May, Croatia will receive 175 thousand doses, and in June, 200 thousand doses per week. We will receive a total of 1.805 million doses by the end of June," said the director of the CNIPH, Krunoslav Capak.

For more about Covid-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Phase 3 Vaccination Plan in Croatia: The Doses and Details

April 3, 2021 - Could 100,000 doses be delivered each week? A look at the phase 3 vaccination plan in Croatia.

Jutarnji List reports that in the second half of April, Croatia should vaccinate everyone over the age of 65 with one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, 55 percent of the total adult population should be vaccinated by June 30, and 70 percent by the end of the summer. The third phase of mass vaccination at the Zagreb Fair should finally start from mid-April, which will include all those who have registered on the platform, according to the order of applications.

In the week when we recorded a significant increase in the number of new cases, good news arrived on Thursday night from Brussels. It was agreed that an additional 747,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine would be delivered to Croatia by the end of June. This month, Croatia should get 600,000 doses from different manufacturers, which is more than in the first three months of this year in total, which finally allows us to start mass vaccination.

Already this week, more than 120,000 doses of vaccine arrived. Zagreb received 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca on Friday, and on Wednesday, says the "Štampar" director, Zvonimir Šostar.

"We are going to finish the second phase, and then from April 15, we will enter the third phase where we will invite all Zagreb citizens registered on the platform. Citizens will get the exact dates, and as they applied, we will call them. We ask everyone to come at the right time, and not earlier so as not to create crowds," says Šostar and adds that those who reported to their doctors will also be vaccinated because they had to register them on the platform.

"We are now in the middle of the second phase of vaccination in the whole country, but there are several people from that phase who do not want to be vaccinated, so I believe that the third phase could start on April 15 in Zagreb. We will determine the economic priorities for vaccination, and we will send all the surplus to the points for mass vaccination," says the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac said on Friday that she expects tourism workers to begin vaccinations in May. With these additional doses of Pfizer, Croatia has now exceeded the number of 9 million ordered doses. With that, Croatia will be below the EU average by June 30 because the Union will be at 65 percent, and Croatia at 55 percent of vaccinations. This ratio would have been much worse if these additional doses had not been agreed upon because only 90,000 doses would have arrived in Croatia in the second quarter under the proportional "pro-rata" system. Croatia is now at 11.4 percent of adults vaccinated with a single dose, while the EU average is 13.9 percent.

It is unknown what amounts will arrive per week from these additional doses, but more than 50,000 doses can be expected each week until the end of June. Also, Croatia should receive 50,000 to 70,000 doses ordered earlier, which means that Croatia could have more than 100,000 doses per week.

Negotiations over these additional doses, sources say, have been quite difficult. Croatia thought that a larger amount of vaccines should be given to those countries with below-average vaccination coverage because they bet on AstraZeneca, which delivered only 30 percent of the agreed doses to the EU and only 17 percent to Croatia. In addition to Croatia, the winners of this agreement are Bulgaria, which has the lowest vaccination coverage, Latvia, Estonia, and Slovakia, while the biggest losers are the Czechs. Namely, an agreement was reached between 24 member states, and Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia did not join in because they demanded a larger amount of doses for themselves. However, all three countries will be above the EU average in July.

Other countries did not agree to this, and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his colleagues from Slovenia and the Czech Republic remained isolated. It was not well received that Kurz was photographed with the Russian ambassador at the time when solidarity was being discussed, and it is significant that German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not even want to receive him in Berlin two weeks ago. Eventually, 19 states waived part of their total of 10 million doses arriving in the second quarter instead of the fourth.

Austria and Slovenia got something more than giving up part of their pro-rata doses but will not get anything in the fourth quarter. However, the Czech Republic, which is the hardest-hit country in the EU, received even less because it did not agree. For this principle that, in addition to pro-rata, vaccination is also considered, given the problems with AstraZeneca, Croatia advocated for an expert body of the Council, the so-called Steering Board. However, no agreement could be reached because the Scandinavian countries and Malta opposed this model.

After that, the European Council was held, after which some countries changed their position. Then, the conclusion was to find a solution in the "spirit of solidarity" for the distribution of these doses and to move the negotiations to the Permanent Representatives Committee (ambassadors). The Portuguese Presidency has put on the table a proposal to distribute 70 percent of the doses to everyone and 30 percent to go to these five states. And that was eventually accepted.

For more about Covid-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Sunday, 28 February 2021

Spaladium Arena Prepared as Mass Vaccination Site in Split

February 28, 2021 - Preparations are coming to an end at the Spaladium Arena, soon opening as a mass vaccination site in Split. 

"Since last Monday, members of the Split-Dalmatia County Red Cross have been working on setting up the Spaladium Arena so that when larger quantities of vaccines arrive, it can be ready to welcome the start of large-scale vaccination. We have arranged 20 cubicles in which people will be vaccinated, which are needed to have a little privacy when getting vaccinated. As far as we are concerned, everything will be prepared by the end of this week at the latest," said Joško Metličić, the new director of the Split-Dalmatia County Red Cross, for Slobodna Dalmacija.

Only those who have been scheduled for vaccination will be able to come to the Spaladium Arena.

"At a specific hour, a certain number of people will be scheduled, who will be called and released to the Arena, where they will sit in prepared places and wait their turn for vaccination. Those who, say, are scheduled at 11 am will not be vaccinated at 9 if they come to the vaccination site two hours earlier. So, the order will have to be respected according to the list and according to the schedule," says Metličić.

Željka Karin, director of the Institute of Public Health of the Split-Dalmatia County, said we could start with large-scale vaccination as early as next week.

"We still don't know how much and which vaccine we will get next week. We received about six thousand doses of PfizerBiontech and AstraZeneca vaccines this week, and Moderna did not come, although it was announced. We distributed all the obtained vaccines to family doctors and special duty points, where people are also vaccinated. How many people have been vaccinated with those six thousand doses so far? We don't know yet. However, I think that next week we should not receive less than six thousand doses," says Dr. Karin.

Interest in vaccination is high.

"People are calling; they want to get vaccinated. If we had sufficient quantities of vaccines, we in Split-Dalmatia County would quickly vaccinate the population. We would have a satisfactory number of vaccinated by June this year at the latest. But for now, unfortunately, the vaccine is not in sufficient quantities. Next week we could put Spaladium Arena into operation to see if everything will work well and so that we can, if there are any shortcomings, fix those shortcomings so that it is ready for the real mass vaccination, which I expect in mid-March," explains Dr. Karin.

The number of cases in Split-Dalmatia County started to grow, connected with several events where groups of people were noticed (family celebrations, socializing in apartments).

"In the last two days, we have a slight decline, and I want to believe that there will continue to be a decline in the number of new infections. But when the terraces of catering facilities open, if the numbers start to go wild again, they will need to think about a possible closure again because it won’t make sense. I believe that it is in everyone's interest to have a tourist season, and I believe that it is in the interest of all private individuals who have restaurants and cafes to work over the summer. Therefore, I ask everyone and call on everyone to take responsibility and to respect all epidemiological measures, so that they would not be surprised and so that sometime in April they would not be forced to close catering facilities again," concluded Željka Karin.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

First Coronavirus Case in Croatia Recorded One Year Ago Today

February 25, 2021 - It has been exactly one year since the first coronavirus case in Croatia. The first patient was a young man from Zagreb who became infected at a football match in Milan.

HRT reports that on Wednesday, 688 new coronavirus cases were reported. The share of positives among those tested has increased, which is now around 9 percent. Unfortunately, 15 more patients died. The largest increase in the number of newly infected is in Dubrovnik-Neretva and Split-Dalmatia counties.

In 2020, Croatia was united with the rest of the world in the fight against the coronavirus, which is still ongoing given the new strains of the virus and the difficulties surrounding the delivery of registered vaccines.

In one year in Croatia, 241,048 people became infected, and 5,477 died as a result of the infection. The Central Bureau of Statistics announced that from March, when the epidemic was officially declared in Croatia, until December 2020, the number of deaths increased by 13.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

The first prevention and protection measures against the new coronavirus at international airports and seaports in Croatia began on January 24. The National Civil Protection Headquarters was established on February 20. A day later, the Headquarters decided to establish quarantine, and three days later, schools were recommended against school excursions and trips to Italy.

The first case of coronavirus was recorded on Tuesday, February 25, in Zagreb. It was a young man who attended a football match in Milan. Health Minister Vili Beroš decided to declare the coronavirus epidemic on March 11, 2020.

Croatia recorded the first 100 infected on March 19 and passed 1000 infected two weeks after - on April 2. The first death due to complications of COVID-19 was recorded one month after the first case was recorded in Croatia on March 25.

By summer, the daily number of newly infected was relatively low, not exceeding the maximum of 96, and in May and June, there were days when no cases were recorded.

The last such day since the beginning of the epidemic was June 12, when the total number of infected was 2,249. Croatia reached 100 deaths on May 25.

The Headquarters adopted the first restrictive measures in March. Thus, on March 16, they suspended teaching in educational institutions, and distance learning began.

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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