Saturday, 24 April 2021

State Spent Millions on Cijepi Se Vaccine Platform, Medjimurje Spends 40,000 HRK

April the 24th, 2021 - The Cijepi Se vaccine platform has been up and running for some time now, allowing residents of Croatia to indicate their desire to be immunised against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and register themselves to be called upon for vaccination. 

The Cijepi Se vaccine platform cost some serious money, but one continental Croatian county, more specifically Medjimurje, has managed to put together something very similar for a fraction of the cost.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, beautiful Medjimurje County didn't want to wait for the state to sort things out for them to start vaccinating their residents against the new disease. Back in January this year, they independently launched their own local platform for vaccination applications. So far, 24,000 people have signed up through it and vaccinations can be received at 10 points throughout that particular county.

They have had an online vaccination platform for four months now and they have vaccinated more than half of those registered.

It could be said that their vaccination plan is going well thanks to the internet platform they created two months before the Cijepi Se vaccine platform was made and put into function across the nation by the state. Unlike the state, they didn’t have to fork out millions for that platform either, as it cost a mere 40,000 HRK.

Medjimurje County Prefect Matija Posavec said for 24sata that they do also use the state's Cijepi Se vaccine platform, but they still kept working with their own, through which a lot of people apply.

''We've only got about 3,000 people left to vaccinate in the priority group of people over the age of 65 and then we're done with that priority group. We've already started vaccinating those in the education system, and we've immunised half of those who applied so far. We also organised 10 mass vaccination points to relieve the pressure which was being put on healthcare centres. It all works and is going well. At a meeting on Wednesday, they announced that twice as many vaccines are on their way to Croatia, and with the help of our platform, we can already organise who will be invited for vaccination and when their appointment will be,'' said Posavec.

The fact that their platform works is also showcased by the information provided by the director of the Cakovec Health Centre, Dr. Branko Vrcic. When someone registers themselves on the vaccination platform in Medjimurje County, their request is processed within a mere half an hour and they already know the location and time of vaccination, unlike the issues faced by the far larger Cijepi Se vaccine platform which can take a long time before issuing a time and date for vaccination even for priority groups.

For more on coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Friday, 23 April 2021

Croatia Registers 2,529 New COVID-19 Infections, 46 Deaths

ZAGREB, 23 April, 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 2,529 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 46 deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Friday.

There are 2,227 COVID patients in hospital, 221 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the start of the epidemic, 318,837 people have contracted coronavirus, 6,784 of them have died, while 295,885 have recovered, including 2,431 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 34,660 people in self-isolation, and the number of active cases in Croatia stands at 16,168.

To date, 1,743,017 people have been tested, 8,783 of whom over the past 24 hours.

As at 22 April, 746,878 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Croatia, and 593,972 people have been vaccinated, with 438,706 people receiving the first dose and 152,906 receiving both doses. For 2,360 people there is no data on how many doses they have received.

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

Friday, 23 April 2021

Coronavirus Pandemic Alters Croatian Shopping, Consumption Habits

April the 23rd, 2021 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has well and truly changed the entire world as we have come to know it, making things we took for granted difficult to imagine now, such as easy and cheap travel for leisure, and even walking around shopping centres for hours on end without the need for masks or social distancing. Just how has the pandemic changed Croatian shopping and consumption habits?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the world's largest online retailer, Amazon, under the influence of the coronavirus pandemic, increased its turnover by 38 percent. Thanks to retail innovation, Amazon's figure of 280 billion US dollars has grown to a staggering 386 billion. Although online stores aren't something new, grocery retail has so far mostly remained in the physical ''world'', with people going to large supermarkets in person, but with the arrival of the global pandemic, the way we buy groceries has also changed.

While some tried online shopping for the first time only during the pandemic, others took advantage of the opportunity to adapt quickly and opted for innovations that bring changes in an industry where there have been no tectonic changes since the very invention of the supermarket. The results of research into consumer habits are an indication that in order to stay on the market, it's necessary to change the way of doing business and use digital technologies to better adapt to customer needs.

Changes caused by the pandemic

When it comes specifically to Croatian shopping and consumption habits, the research conducted revealed that back at the very beginning of the pandemic, there was a considerable increase in the use of e-commerce and a change in consumer habits.

During the pandemic, 60.7 percent of Croatia's respondents mostly chose to shop online, but 39.3 percent of them stayed loyal to the traditional way of doing shopping. As many as 55 percent of respondents decided to go to the store once a week, while 13.6 percent of them did so several times a week. To inform themselves about products and services before buying them, 67.9 percent of the respondents used information platforms such as Google to find answers to questions.

Trends across the world are an indicator that in the future we will find practical solutions such as self check outs and the use of robots when shopping. Some of these solutions were presented by well-known retail chains well known to Croats, while in our country, the modernisation of the industry is still expected.

Self-service cash registers in our hands

In neighbouring Slovenia, the retail chain Mercator has introduced the M-scan service, which replaces traditional self-service cash registers and enables purchases via mobile phones. M-scan and similar solutions speed up the shopping process, are cheaper to perform than self-service cash registers, and are being tested worldwide.

Amazon has opened several stores in the USA under the name GO, where a system of sensors and cameras recognises purchased products, and a similar smart shopping trolley system is being tested by the Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo.

Robots are part of the solution

With self check outs as a trend in retail, the use of robots is an increasingly common solution for fast and efficient business, and this could be the case for the Croatian shopping experience of the future too. The Ocado logistics system seems like something you should see in science fiction movies, but it’s actually a British online retail chain where robots work in a fully automated warehouse, boasting 35 percent sales growth last year.

On the other hand, robots could soon be walking around with people in Decathlon stores. With computer vision technology and RFID readers, the state of the stock and the items on the shelf will be monitored with the help of the Simba robot, which will provide trade and additional insight into consumer behaviour.

FairPrice, a supermarket chain based in Singapore, is working on testing the use of robots in food delivery. After completing the purchase of groceries, the customer can return to their activities because the bags will be delivered to them by a robot, and the mobile application will give confirmation of the agreed collection with a QR code.

While much of the above might seem totally unrealistic in relation to the Croatian shopping experience as we know it, standing around in lines at Konzum and trying to shove what we've purchased in a bag at the same rate as the cashier fires the items towards you, robotics in Croatia is advancing, and it could become a reality sooner than we might think.

The global pandemic has accelerated the process of change in the retail industry in a way that was previously unimaginable. The frequent use of contactless payments, which is becoming an increasing preference of customers so as to avoid touching too many items or indeed money, has reduced the need for contact, while the use of innovations in trade is an indicator of the need for digital transformation, which will not bypass the Croatian shopping experience of the future, or the wider domestic market.

For more, make sure to follow our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Health Minister Vili Beroš Says 230,000 Vaccine Doses to Arrive Weekly As of May

ZAGREB, 22 April, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said at a government session on Thursday that as of 1 May, 230,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be arriving in Croatia on a weekly basis, calling on citizens to register for vaccination.

"The pressure on hospitals has been growing, notably by younger patients. The number of hospitalisations and patients on ventilators continues to grow. The average age of hospitalised patients is 66.7, 15% are people under the age of 50, 15% are people aged 50-59 while the rest are people above 60," said Beroš.

Third vaccination phase to start soon

The minister noted that the arrival of a larger quantity of vaccines during May and June would facilitate the process of vaccination.

Public health institutes have been instructed to include in the vaccination process all health institutions and private medical workers in the public health service network, and to organise, along with vaccination in family medicine offices, mobile vaccination teams and a sufficient number of vaccination points as well as to use civil protection, army and other resources in the process.

The vaccination plan for priority groups will be finished next week and the third phase of vaccination will begin, Beroš said.

So far, 902,670 vaccine doses have arrived in Croatia and 80% of them have been administered. A vaccination rate of above the average 14.2% has been achieved in age groups above 60, he said.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković called on elderly people to register for vaccination, saying that a half of the country's adult population should be vaccinated by June 30.

"There will be enough vaccines, I call on all citizens to call their family doctors, register on the vaccination platform so that we can contribute together to health security," Plenković said.

"As many as 77% of people who have died of COVID-19 in Croatia since the start of the pandemic were aged above 70 and 93% were people older than 60. We call on all citizens who are above the age of 60, 70 to register for vaccination," the PM said.

The head of the national coronavirus crisis management team, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, said that there had been no changes to epidemiological restrictions at the national level, that existing restrictions had been extended, as had been most of those introduced by local crisis management teams.

For more about vaccines in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 22 April 2021

US Embassy Croatia Travel Advisory: Do Not Travel to Croatia Due to COVID-19

April 22, 2021 - The US Embassy Croatia Travel Advisory is advising US travelers not to travel to Croatia as of April 21, 2021. 

The US Embassy issued a travel advisory for Croatia on April 21, 2021, urging US travelers that Croatia has moved to the #4 Advisory Level - Do Not Travel

All information from the US Embassy below: 

"Do not travel to Croatia due to COVID-19.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Croatia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Croatia. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Croatia.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Croatia:

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information."

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Thursday, 22 April 2021

The Latest on Covid Passports in Croatia Revealed

April 22, 2021 - Covid passports in Croatia could be implemented as early as June. Index.hr shares the latest on Covid passports in the country. 

Croatia is working intensively on 'Covid passports' which should be in circulation as early as the beginning of June, according to Index.hr.

"It is designed to be issued digitally. An application will be created to generate a secure QR code that will contain information about the passenger, their name and surname, the date when they received the vaccine, when they were tested, or when they recovered from Covid. This is being done intensively; Croatia is certainly among the countries working most actively on it. Our plan is for everything to be finished by the beginning of June," said Index's well-informed source.

The Ministry of Health will be in charge of everything related to the Covid passport or the mentioned QR code.

Croatia is one of thirteen European countries that have already agreed on criteria for Covid passports, i.e., digital certificates that would facilitate travel during the pandemic.

Along with Croatia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain are involved in the initiative, and the European Commission should soon comment on the criteria.

Austrian Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger recently stated that this initiative for the faster introduction of the passport should enable the survival of the European tourism sector.

This confirmation would guarantee passengers that they will not end up in quarantine.

Recall that the European Commission in mid-March proposed introducing a digital green certificate for free movement within the EU during the pandemic, which would be evidence of vaccination, a negative test, or proof that you have recovered from the virus. 

France became the first EU member state to start testing digital covid passports. The TousAntiCovid application is part of the state program for searching for contacts of infected people. It has been upgraded to store data such as a negative result on passengers' mobile phones.

France's Le Monde reported that from April 29, the application would include vaccination data.

Everyone who is tested for coronavirus will also receive a digital confirmation by message or e-mail, which they will be able to store in the TousAntiCovid application.

Several EU member states are developing similar systems. Denmark was also among the first to present its Coronapas.

Football fans are allowed to enter stadiums, bars, and restaurants, and museums are reopening as Denmark takes a big step to lift restrictions. The condition for Danes to take advantage of the new freedom is that they must prove they are not infected, showing the Coronapas, writes the BBC.

It is a digital application MinSundhed (MyHealth), that shows whether a person has had a negative test result in the last 72 hours or a confirmation of vaccination or proof of a previous infection two to 12 weeks ago.

By the way, the extraordinary board of the World Health Organization (WHO) this week recommended that vaccination certificates not be a precondition for international travel because the vaccine is unevenly distributed between countries.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Croatia Registers 2,885 New COVID-19 Infections, 46 Deaths

ZAGREB, 22 April, 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 2,885 new cases of the coronavirus infection, and there were 46 deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Thursday.

There are 2,229 COVID patients in hospitals, including 226 on ventilators.

Over the past 24 hours, 46 people have died, bringing the death toll to 6,738 since the start of the epidemic.

There are 16,116 active cases in Croatia today, and 33,940 people are in self-isolation.

To date, 1,734,234 people have been tested, including 10,537 people tested over the past 24 hours.

Since the start of the epidemic in Croatia, a total of 316,308 people have contracted coronavirus, and 293,454 of them have recovered, 2,103 recovered in the past 24 hours.

As at 21 April, 726,315 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Croatia, and 578,273 people have been vaccinated, with 427,919 people receiving the first dose and 148,042 receiving both doses. For 2,312 people there is no data on how many doses they have received.

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

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

USA Not Recommending Travel to 100 Countries, Including Croatia

ZAGREB, 21 April, 2021 - The U.S. State Department has added about 100 countries this week to its "Level Four: Do Not Travel" advisory list, putting Croatia, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Mexico, Germany and others on the list, citing a "very high level of COVID-19," Reuters reported.

On Monday, the State Department said it would boost the number of countries receiving its highest advisory rating to about 80% of countries worldwide.

Before Tuesday, the State Department listed 34 out of about 200 countries as "Do Not Travel." The State Department now lists about 131 countries at Level Four, says Reuters.

The State Department said Monday the move "reflects an adjustment in the State Department's Travel Advisory system to rely more on (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's) existing epidemiological assessments."

Other countries in the "Do Not Travel" list include Finland, Egypt, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. Some countries like China and Japan remain at "Level 3: Reconsider Travel."

Most Americans already had been prevented from traveling to much of Europe because of COVID-19 restrictions. Washington has barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in most of Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa, Reuters says.

On Tuesday, the United States extended by another 30 days restrictions barring non-essential travel at its Canadian and Mexican borders.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Croatia Logs 3,117 Coronavirus Cases, 49 Deaths

ZAGREB, 21 April, 2021 - In the past 24 hours 3,117 coronavirus cases and 49 COVID-19 deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 response team said on Wednesday.

The number of active cases is 15,380 and includes 2,201 hospitalised patients, 230 of whom are on ventilators, while 31,562 people are self-isolating.

To date 1.7 million people have been tested for the virus, including 10,523 in the past 24 hours.

Through 20 April 708,960 vaccine doses were administered, with 419,252 people receiving the first dose and 143,796 both. For 2,116 people there is no information on whether they received one or both shots.

To date Croatia has registered 313,523 coronavius cases and 6,692 deaths, while 291,351 patients have recovered, including 1,687 in the past 24 hours.

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

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Another Zagreb Vaccination Point Could be Set Up in Eastern Part of City

April the 21st, 2021 - Another Zagreb vaccination point could end up being set up in a central location to try to take at least some of the current pressure off the vaccination point located at the Zagreb Fair (Zagrebacki Velesajam).

The Croatian vaccination rollout hasn't been going entirely to plan over recent months, with delivery and contractual issues aplenty and some people refusing to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine following numerous reports of worrying side effects and doubts surrounding the vaccine for people over a certain age. Things have begun to improve of late, and a second Zagreb vaccination point might work to ease the pressure and better control the flow of people coming to be immunised.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, following problems with getting the desired amount of invited individuals to come to receive their coronavirus vaccine, yesterday, more than 4,500 residents of the Croatian capital received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, but covid wardens still have their hands full today, warning people to keep their distance and adhere to the epidemiological measures as they wait to receive their vaccines.

Zvonimir Sostar, the director of the Dr. Andrija Stampar Institute in Zagreb will today, as he previously announced on HRT, talk with the Minister of Health Vili Beros about the opening of another mass Zagreb vaccination point in the eastern part of the city.

If all goes to plan, next week, almost 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are set to arrive in Croatia, then 175,000 are due to enter the country every week during the month of May, with 201,240 doses due in the last week.

A total of 809,640 doses or 202,410 per week will arrive in June alone. For these large quantities, which do not include the promised amount of 524,000 doses of AstraZeneca and the announced 100,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson, additional mass vaccination points should be organised.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including border, travel and quarantine rules, as well testing centre locations up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section.

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