Saturday, 27 November 2021

Croatia Logs 5,502 New Coronavirus Cases, 51 Deaths

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - In the last 24 hours 5,502 coronavirus cases and 51 COVID-19 deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national crisis management team said on Saturday.

There are 34,553 active cases, including 2,506 hospitalised patients, of whom 324 are on ventilators, while 28,272 persons are self-isolating.

To date 3,424,751 persons have been tested for the virus, including 13,372 in the last 24 hours.

Croatia has registered 599,977 coronavirus cases to date as well as 10,695 related deaths and 554,729 recoveries, of which 5,629 in the last 24 hours.

To date 53.43% of the total population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, including 63.77% of adults, 56.85% of whom have completed vaccination.

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Saturday, 27 November 2021

HZJZ Official Confirms COVID-19 Vaccine for Children To Arrive on 20 December

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - The deputy director of the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ), Ivana Pavić Šimetin, said on Friday it could be assumed that the new coronavirus variant, called Omicron, had still not arrived in Croatia, confirming that the COVID-19 vaccine for children would arrive on 20 December.

Croatian scientists, too, are taking samples to see if the new coronavirus variant is present, and their sequencing takes about ten days, she said in an interview with Nova TV.

She noted that one could assume that the new variant had still not reached Croatia.

Pavić Šimetin explained that mutations can always occur if a virus is very much present in the population, if a large number of people are infected or are susceptible to infection.

In order to prevent mutations, it is important for as many people as possible to get vaccinated, which reduces virus circulation as well as the possibility of new variants emerging, she said.

The HZJZ official also said that on 20 December Croatia would obtain the Pfizer vaccine for children from age 5-11. Its distribution will take a few days, after which the vaccination of children will begin, Pavić Šimetin said.

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Saturday, 27 November 2021

ECDC Calls for Stepping Up Vaccination, Epidemiological and Hygiene Measures

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has called, in the context of detection of Omicron, a variant of coronavirus considered a variant of concern, for stepping up primary vaccination, applying a booster dose for people above 40 as well as for stepping up other hygiene measures.

Based on currently available genetic information, the risks of this variant of concern are high, according to preliminary data, the ECDC said on Friday evening.

The B.1.1.529 variant, first detected in southern Africa, is the most divergent variant that has been detected in significant numbers during the pandemic to date, raising serious concerns that it may significantly reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections.

"Today we are releasing a threat assessment on the emergence of a new Sars-COV-2 variant of concern. There is still considerable uncertainty related to the transmissibility, vaccine effectiveness, risk for reinfections and other properties of this variant. At this stage, based on our experience with previous variants we must be proactive and implement measures as a precaution to buy time until we gain more knowledge. Therefore, I would like to reiterate the three key recommendations from our rapid risk assessment from the 24th of November. Firstly, it is imperative we close the immunisation gap. Secondly, booster doses should be considered for all adult individuals, prioritising persons above 40 years of age. Finally, due to the uncertainties involved with this situation, the timely reinforced implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions is now more important than ever," said ECDC director Andrea Ammon.

The non-pharmaceutical interventions include the appropriate use of face masks, teleworking, operational modifications that reduce crowding on public transport, ensuring adequate ventilation in closed spaces and maintenance of hygiene measures that can be implemented immediately. Setting limits for the number of participants in social and public events during end-of-year celebrations will support physical distancing efforts.

Ammon said countries are again urged to give utmost priority to individuals initially targeted by COVID-19 vaccination programmes that remain unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated. Increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage in all eligible age groups, but particularly in the elderly, in the vulnerable, and healthcare workers should remain the priority for public health authorities.

Public health authorities should identify those with an epidemiological link to cases with the new variant or travel history to areas known to be affected to control or delay the spread of the new variant, she said.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Croatia’s Coronavirus Update: 4,262 New Cases, 60 Deaths, 5,376 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, of 11,125 tests performed for coronavirus, 38% of them (4,262) have turned out to be positive, and 60 more COVID patients have died, raising the death toll to 10,303, Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Sunday. 

There are now 33,708 active cases, and of them 2,568 are receiving hospital treatment. As many as 323 patients are on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the infection with the novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, over 3.35 million tests have been conducted showing that 570,380 people have contracted the virus. Of them, 526,369 have so far recovered, including 5,376 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

 62.5% of adult Croatians get vaccinated

More than 3.98 million vaccine doses have been administered under the vaccination rollout plan in Croatia where 52.32% of the total population or 62.47% of the adults have been given at least a shot.

As many as 56% of the adults have fully been vaccinated to date.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Scientist Says Doesn’t Feel Responsible for Incidents During COVID Protests

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - Researcher Gordan Lauc, a former member of the government's Scientific Council, said on Saturday evening that he had not called for protests against vaccinations and COVID certificates in his social networks posts and that he did not feel responsible for the incidents during the protest.

Lauc told the the Nova TV broadcaster on Saturday evening that he actually said in his posts that "COVID certificates are wrong. I told the vociferous majority that their voice should be heard. That they should share my post, that they should write to media outlets to the government, that they should turn out at protest rallies in line with law."

He went on to say that it was not him who called on people to join the protest rally held in Zagreb on Saturday afternoon against vaccines and against COVID certificates and underscored that he did not feel responsible for the incidents which had occurred during the demonstrations organised by anti-vaxxers when protesters were trying to prevent reporters to cover the rally in Zagreb's main square.

Lauc said he was sure that 99.9% of demonstrators had expressed their dissatisfaction in a peaceful and legal manner.

He added that every form of violence, both verbal and physical, should be condemned.

"Things should be settled through institution, the system, the exchange of arguments and by making logical decisions."

He said that the decision on the COVID certificate mandate was wrong. The measure was designed in the European Union, when we believed that the vaccinated people could not spread the virus.

This creates a false feeling of security, Lauc added.

While claiming that the vaccination against coronavirus would not lessen the strain on hospitals, he admitted that he was fully vaccinated after he had recovered this infectious disease.

He explained that he had received two shots to make it easier for him to travel abroad and also due to the fact that he had underlying conditions.

"Vaccination will not halt the spread of the pandemic. Getting vaccinated will reduce the risks of vaccinated individuals. All of us will caught the virus," he said.

Lauc used to be a member of the government's scientific think tank, however, the government decided to dismiss him from that body, after he said that he was against the mandatory COVID certificates for entry into state and public institutions.

The Croatian Chamber of Physicians and some members of the said think tank already warned about controversial statements made by Lauc and the chamber welcomed the decision to relieve  Lauc of the membership of the government's scientific council.

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Saturday, 20 November 2021

Protesters Rally Outside HRT, Demand End to “Censorship”

ZAGREB, 20 Nov, 2021 - Protesters against COVID-19 certificates on Saturday evening moved from Zagreb's central square to the part of the city where the HRT public broadcaster is located, demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live and calling for an end to "censorship" by the HRT.

Dissatisfied with the way the HRT covered their protest in the central city square at 3 p.m., the protesters shouted "We want elections", "Referendum and people's rule", "Thieves", "Treason", "God's law is above all laws", demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live.

The protesters were met by riot police, with a dozen police vehicles blocking access to the HRT building.

Some of the protesters demanded to see the editor in chief and that the protest be broadcast live, claiming that the HRT "cannot be a factory of censorship" and that "the HRT is lying to the Croatian people, spreading fear and enemy propaganda."

Claiming that they did not want to force anything on anyone and did not want others to do it to them, and shouting "We want truth" and "People rules" and singing patriotic songs, they continued to demand a response by the HRT, saying that "people want to say what they think" and the public broadcaster has the duty to report about it.

"This is no vaccine, this is poison", someone in the crowd could be heard saying while some protesters said the world was ruled by "Bill Gates, Talmudists and Soros's followers".

An HRT employee told the protesters that there was no one in the building they could talk to, to which they responded with shouts however the protest continued mostly without incidents and around 8 p.m. the protesters started to disperse.

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Sunday, 14 November 2021

50% of Total Population, 60% of Adults Vaccinated

ZAGREB, 14 Nov, 2021 - On Saturday 28,170 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Croatia, including a record-high 19,198 with the first dose, the Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) said on Sunday, adding that 50.35% of the total population, including 60.18% of adults, have received the first dose to date.

On Saturday 2,359 persons received a second dose and 6,613 a booster shot.

HZJZ director Krunoslav Capak called on the rest of the population to get vaccinated, notably those with chronic illnesses.

The City of Zagreb has the highest number of people who have received the first vaccine dose, 58.9% of its total population, including 70.6% of adults, as well as the highest number of people who have completed vaccination, 53.2% of its total population, including 64.1% of adults.

Also, 87.65% of those aged 70-74 have received the first dose, as have 74.8% of those aged 65 and over. In the latter age group, 69.6% have received two doses.

Bjelovar-Bilogora County has the lowest number of vaccinations, with 42.1% of its population having received the first and 37.9% two doses, followed by Zadar County with 42% and 38.9%, respectively, Šibenik-Knin County with 42.4% and 39.3%, and Split-Dalmatia County with 42.5% and 38.2%.

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Saturday, 13 November 2021

Plenković: More Than 2 Million Citizens Have Been Vaccinated

ZAGREB, 13 Nov, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Saturday repeated his appeal to all citizens to get vaccinated and called on those who refused to do so to get tested.

Speaking at a press conference, Plenković said that the number of people vaccinated so far has exceeded 2 million and that today the proportion of people who have received the first dose will most likely reach 60 per cent of the adult population and 50 per cent of the total population.

"Everyone has the right to protest, but what we are advocating is common sense, notably the view of medical professionals, doctors and scientists," the prime minister said. He added that people who do not want to get vaccinated can get tested very quickly and obtain a COVID certificate.

"We respect the people who are responsible and who have been vaccinated. And those who have not, we appeal to them to get vaccinated and to get tested," he said.

Plenković said that the Fitch Ratings agency had taken into account the vaccination rate when it upgraded Croatia's credit rating on Friday. "Ratings agencies watch what we do as a society, whether we stand in solidarity with one another, whether we are responsible, whether we understand what's going on." 

Commenting on the message from Croatian Roman Catholic bishops that citizens should not be coerced into getting vaccinated, Plenković said that the bishops should be asked whether they should have publicly called on people to get vaccinated.

He said that Pope Francis was clear in his statement when he appealed to people to get vaccinated.

"I believe that many of our bishops have been vaccinated, considering their age and the availability of the vaccines. As for freedom, it cannot be the reason not to respect the people who have been vaccinated," the prime minister said.

Asked whether he would meet with protesters against COVID certificates, he said he did not get the impression any of them wanted to talk with the government, and that peaceful protests were held to express an opinion.

"We live in a democracy. If anyone wants to talk, they can contact us and say what the problem is. I would like to see what it is about through dialogue," the prime minister said.

Peaceful protests against the introduction of mandatory COVID certificates for public-sector workers and people visiting state and public institutions, were held in several cities across the country on Friday evening. In Zagreb, protesters rallied outside the government building in St Mark's Square.

Commenting on the criticism from President Zoran Milanović regarding the transport of bishops by a Croatian Navy vessel, Plenković said he could not see the problem.

"This was about the ordainment of Bishop Vidović (on Hvar island). The Military Ordinariate had asked the defence minister in writing to arrange transport and the minister approved it. Is it a crime? It's not. Did the state collapse? It didn't," he said.

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Thursday, 4 November 2021

Opposition MP Calls for Restrictions on Unvaccinated Persons

ZAGREB, 4 Nov 2021 - After Croatia saw a record high daily number of new coronavirus cases, GLAS parliamentary deputy Anka Mrak Taritaš on Thursday called on the government to ramp up the vaccination campaign, saying it was high time for restrictions to be imposed on the unvaccinated.

"The campaign should be further intensified, but that will not suffice. Now is the right time to tell people that they cannot get to work or to cafes and restaurants and shops if they are not vaccinated."

She criticized the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the government for being lenient and failing to take serious steps to encourage people to get vaccinated.

"By next spring we will have the same number of COVID fatalities as the deaths in the Homeland War. Our COVID-19 fatality rate is among the highest in the world," Mrak Taritaš said.

Andreja Marić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) also called for better immunization.

"People, get vaccinated, trust your doctors and experts," she said, accusing the government and the COVID-19 crisis management team of not doing their job well.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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Friday, 29 October 2021

Over 10,000 Receive First COVID Shot in Two Days, Gov't Tweets

ZAGREB, 29 Oct 2021 - The rising interest in vaccination is encouraging as over 10,000 citizens have received the first shot in two days, the government said on Friday, adding that the number of those who have received a booster shot it also rising.

The booster shoot is recommended for everyone who was vaccinated six months ago or more as well as for senior citizens and immunocompromised persons, government spokesman Marko Milić tweeted.

Yesterday 13,292 COVID-19 shots were administered.

To date 56.92% of the entire population, including 56.21% of adults, has received the first shot.

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