Sunday, 21 November 2021

HSU: Claim That Anti-Epidemic Rules Are Against Freedoms Is off the Point

ZAGREB, 21 Nov, 2021 - The Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU) says the claims by anti-COVID certificate protesters on Saturday that the certificates allegedly restrict freedoms and rights are off the point and questionable, since it is the right to health that is affected when hospitals are overcrowded due to the pandemic.

Following Saturday's protest in Zagreb that brought together thousands of anti-vaxxers and protesters against COVID certificates from whole Croatia, the HSU stated on Sunday that the developments prompted it to respond publicly, without any wish to deepen divisions in the society.

"We must emphasise that one of the main reasons cited by the protesters for their demonstrations -- the restrictions of human rights and freedoms -- misses the point," says the party.

We would like to underscore that one disregards the fact about the restriction of the right of many to health, due to the epidemic, and this right is one of the fundamental human rights.

It is clear that living in an organised community such as a state includes also responsibilities alongside the exercise of many rights.

The freedom to public assembly is one of many benefits for those living in a democracy, however, many times public assemblies have political goals, the party added.

Instead of claiming that the anti-epidemic rules deny their rights and freedoms, it is better that individuals admit that they are simply afraid of vaccination.

The HSU went on to say that fear is "a normal human reaction" and one should only admit that.

The party also points out that some citizens do not get vaccinated out of fear and some out of egoism waiting for others' full vaccination to see what will happen.

It calls on the general public to follow the solutions found by the scientific community.

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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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Thursday, 18 November 2021

Croatia Registered 7,270 New COVID Cases, 63 Deaths

ZAGREB, 18 Nov 2021 - In the past 24 hours Croatia has registered 7,270 new COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths, the national COVID response team reported on Thursday.

There are 39,034 active cases in the country, including 2,513 hospitalized patients, 324 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there have been a total of 558,270 registered cases of contagion and the death toll has climbed to 10,113. A  total of 509,123 people have recovered from the novel coronavirus, including 5,317 in the past 24 hours. Currently, there are 26,602 people self-isolating.

To date, 3,320,983 tests have been performed, with 17,230 samples taken in the past 24 hours.

As of 17 November, a total of 3,931,774 doses of a vaccine had been administered, with 51.63% of the total population, or 61.67% of the adult population, having been vaccinated.

On Wednesday alone, 33,122 doses of a vaccine were administered, with 18,574 people receiving the first dose.

To date, 2,095,085 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 1,881,107 people, or 55.60% of the adult population, have been fully vaccinated.

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.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Milanović Agrees with Pope that Vaccination is "Act of Love for Oneself"

ZAGREB, 15 Nov 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović met with Pope Francis during his visit to the Vatican on Monday, discussing the situation in the Western Balkans and Europe, as well as vaccination against COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters after a private audience with the pontiff, Milanović said he agreed with the Pope's view that vaccination is "an act of love for oneself." He added that he does not think this is different from the recent statement made by Croatian bishops, who said that vaccination should be voluntary and testing non-invasive.

"In the Vatican, everyone has been vaccinated, and it appears that a scientific view on this matter prevails, although face masks are not being worn much," Milanović said.

He said he had a problem with COVID restrictions because they were not based on science. "The vaccines have been invented by several brilliant minds, while this nonsense with anti-epidemic measures has nothing to do with science. In Austria, they are banning unvaccinated people from leaving their homes as of today. What is that? Is that science or are those methods reminiscent of the 1930s?"

Milanović called on citizens to get vaccinated but noted that they also have the right to be protected from arbitrariness. "I am wondering where are human rights champions, where is the European Court of Human Rights, which has the ambition to tailor countries' constitutions? They are nowhere to be seen," he said, adding that he would like to hear the Court's opinion on the rights of people who are being forbidden to leave their homes because they are not vaccinated.

Milanović said that Pope Francis has "interesting views on Brussels as a somewhat alienated center of power that does not understand that European states are historically nation-states."

He said that the Pope presented him with a mosaic showing a winegrower picking grapes, as well as his works and speeches, while he presented the Pope with a 14th-century Glagolitic missal written by Duke Novak.

Milanović also met with the Holy See's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher. They discussed the situation in Croatia's neighborhood, notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"We discussed things that are troubling us and that we can perhaps resolve better with the Vatican's assistance. Their view suits us. They can help. There are limits, of course, but we can also help ourselves because we are members of the EU and NATO," Milanović said.

"As long as the (Bosnian) Croats insist that they should not be deprived of the right to choose their representative and as long as they look to Sarajevo, you can be happy. Once the Croats turn away from Sarajevo and say they are no longer interested, that will send chills down your spine. An educated guess is that the Croats still care about Bosnia and Herzegovina," Milanović said.

He said he has invited the Pope to visit Croatia. "He is quite old, and I'm not sure if he should be a globe-trotter after turning 80, but he is absolutely welcome to Croatia."

Croatia's ambassadorial post in the Vatican has been vacant for a year now, and this issue has been raised by Cardinal Gallagher, Milanović said.

Asked by the press whether he would confirm Davor Stier as the new ambassador to the Holy See, the president said he was following the rules of conduct, including one that the names of future ambassadors are not made public.

Milanović said that Stier used to be an editor of an Ustasha newspaper in Argentina. "You don't know that. Do you know that he is from Argentina? He was politically active there. One of the last things he was doing there was editing an Ustasha newspaper. And what was he doing there? He certainly wasn't selling ice cream," he told Croatian reporters covering his visit.

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Monday, 15 November 2021

Croatia Logs 55 New COVID-related Deaths, 1,135 New Cases

ZAGREB, 15 Nov 2021 -  Croatia has registered 1,135 new coronavirus cases and 55 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Monday.

Currently, 2,338 persons are being treated in hospitals, 287 of whom are on ventilators.

In the last 24 hours, 3,602 people have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, of whom 1,135 (nearly one-third) have tested positive.

There are 34,062 active cases in the country. A total of 24,145 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case of the infection was confirmed in the country, 539,887 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 9,936 have died.

A total of 6,566 doses of the vaccine were administrated on Sunday, of which 5,127 were the first dose.

The COVID vaccine has been administered to 50.48 percent of the total population or 60.33 percent of the adult population. A total of 1,859,418 people have been fully vaccinated, which is 54.96 percent of the adult population.

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.


Sunday, 14 November 2021

New Record of Vaccination With the First Dose in Autumn Registered

November 14, 2021 - According to Krunoslav Capak, director of HZJZ, 28,170 people were vaccinated, of whom 19,198 received the first dose, thus setting a new record of vaccination with the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in autumn.

A new record of vaccination in autumn with the first doses was set in Croatia yesterday, the Croatian Institute of Public Health announced on its website, reports HRT News. 28,170 people were vaccinated, of whom 19,198 received the first dose. The second dose was received by 2,359 people and the third by 6,613 people. Thus, the total number of persons who received the first dose since the beginning of vaccination is 2,043,475, which is 50.35% of the total population. Of those vaccinated, 2,022,551 are adults, bringing the share of vaccinated adults to 60.18%, according to the HZJZ. 

''I thank all our fellow citizens who decided to get vaccinated and we invite everyone else to get vaccinated. We can now conclude that there are more of those who have been vaccinated than those who have not yet decided to take that step. We especially call for vaccination of all those with chronic diseases. Citizens often ask doctors at checkpoints if they can be vaccinated due to the diseases they have and due to previous allergic reactions. Chronic diseases are precisely the reason for priority vaccination: if you have chronic diseases, the more you need to be vaccinated immediately. If you are unsure, bring your medical records for vaccination. There is a doctor at each vaccination point who will study what it is about on the spot before the vaccination. Related to allergies, even a severe previous allergic reaction to medications in the vast majority of cases only requires that the person stays in the vaccination for a little longer after vaccination under the supervision of a doctor (30 minutes instead of 15 minutes). Food and pollen allergies are not important when getting vaccinated and everyone can be vaccinated. Health barriers (contraindications) for vaccination due to which a person cannot be vaccinated have a very small number of people, less than 2 percent of the population judging by the countries where more than 98% of the population is vaccinated'', said the director of the HZJZ Krunoslav Capak.

"The highest coverage of vaccinated with the first dose was achieved in the City of Zagreb (58.9% of the total population, or 70.6% of the adult population), and the completed vaccination was also achieved in the City of Zagreb (53.2% of the total population, ie 64, 1% of the adult population), helping to set a new record of vaccination during the autumn season in Croatia.

The share of vaccinated increases from lower to higher age groups up to the age of 70-74, and at the age of 70-74 the highest share of vaccinated is 87.65% for the first dose. 638,318 persons (74.8%) with one dose and 594,036 persons (69.6%) with two doses were vaccinated'', the statement said.

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.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Delta Plus Variant, 10% More Infectious Than Delta, Detected at Three Locations

ZAGREB, 11 Nov, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš warned on Thursday that the Delta plus variant of coronavirus was 10% more infectious than the Delta variant and that it had appeared in three locations in Croatia as record high numbers of COVID deaths are being reported, urging citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Delta Plus appeared last week in Croatia and so far it has been reported in Čakovec, Split and Zagreb, Beroš said at a government session, noting that this was an additional reason to get vaccinated.

It is of critical importance for citizens to get the booster dose as soon as possible so they can get maximum protection against the existing and new variants of the novel virus, he said, adding that the third dose was particularly important in areas with a large number of new infections.

Large number of new cases, vaccination records

Beroš went on to say that Croatia was registering needlessly high numbers of new infections, hospitalisations and fatalities, as well as vaccination records. On Wednesday alone, more than 27,000 vaccine doses were administered, including 16,000 that were administered as first shots. In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases among those tested was 42.48%.

So far, 58.67% of the adult population has been vaccinated, Beroš said, adding that 61,356 people had received the booster dose.

Mobile teams have vaccinated 49% of elderly persons whom they had contacted, an increase of 25% from the week before, he said.

COVID certificates not individual rights but protection of life, health

"COVID certificates, testing, compliance with epidemiological measures and vaccination are not about individual rights and freedoms but about a common response to the need to protect the lives and health of citizens in the new circumstances," the minister said, noting that between 1 June and 4 November  2,635,968 COVID-19 certificates had been issued.

Even though hospitals have been restricting non-essential procedures, Beroš said that so far "the provision of healthcare to all emergency and priority patients has been unobstructed at all stages of the epidemic."

The ministry has therefore asked the Health Insurance Institute to analyse the capacity and need for diagnostic procedures and treatment for cancer patients as well as the possibility and need for additional procedures to be carried out by private providers of medical services.

"This is a precautionary measure aimed at securing the highest possible availability of medical care for all non-COVID patients with serious illnesses," he said.

Team to make decision on mandatory COVID-19 certificates on Friday 

The head of the national coronavirus crisis management team, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, said that the team would tomorrow make new decisions on the obligation to get tested for coronavirus as a precondition for work and provision of services, the exemption being persons with EU digital certificates.

He recalled that due to the worsened epidemiological situation in the country on 5 November restrictions on gatherings and stricter anti-epidemic rules were introduced, to stay in force until 30 November.

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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Record-High Number of People Vaccinated Against COVID on Wednesday

ZAGREB, 11 Nov, 2021 - A record-high 27,261 persons were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Croatia on Wednesday, including 16,747 who received the first dose, the highest number since early June, the Public Health Institute (HZJZ) said on Thursday.

Also yesterday, 3,527 persons received a second dose and 7,347 a booster shoot.

Croatia has administered 3,759,981 vaccine doses to date, with 1,990,925 persons receiving the first dose and 1,707,700 two doses, while 61,356 persons have received a booster shot.

To date 49.06% of the total population has been vaccinated, including 58.67% of adults.

The City of Zagreb accounts for the highest number of persons who received the first dose, 57.6% of the capital's total population and 69.2% of adults.

Zagreb also has the largest number of persons who have completed vaccination, with 52.6% of its total population and 63.4% of adults.

The HZJZ called on those who have not been vaccinated, notably those most at risk, to do so as soon as possible.

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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Croatia Logs 6,987 New COVID Cases, 66 Deaths

ZAGREB, 11 Nov, 2021 - In the last 24 hours 6,987 coronavirus cases and 66 COVID-19 deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national crisis management team said on Thursday.

This is the highest number of deaths in a day since 28 December, when there were 68.

There are 38,089 active cases, including 2,008 hospitalised patients, of whom 257 are on ventilators, while 28,346 persons are in self-isolation.

To date 3,230,998 persons have been tested for the virus, including 16,448 in the last 24 hours, and 49.06% of the total population has been vaccinated, including 58.67% of adults, of whom 54.33% fully. 

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Monday, 8 November 2021

Fully Vaccinated Croats Can Travel to the United States Starting Today

November 08, 2021 - From today, fully vaccinated Croats will be able to travel to the United States again. They'll need to present their vaccination status and a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding.

As announced by the U.S. Embassy in Croatia, starting on November 8, foreign national air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the United States, with only limited exceptions. The Biden Administration announced a new international air travel policy that is stringent, consistent across the globe, and guided by public health.

The CDC has determined that for the purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include those FDA approved or authorized, as well as vaccines with an emergency use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO). See the CDC's website for more details. Fully vaccinated air travelers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding. That includes all travelers – U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals.

To further strengthen protections, unvaccinated travelers – whether U.S. citizens, LPRs, or the small number of excepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to show documentation of a negative viral test from a sample taken within one day of travel to the United States.

In addition to submitting all the documentation mentioned above, fully vaccinated Croats will need to fill out an ESTA application before traveling, which can be found here. In addition to the recent inclusion of Croatia in the VISA program and the increases in flights between the two countries, traveling to the United States has fewer barriers than before.

For more information regarding traveling to the U.S., check the FAQs on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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