Saturday, 12 February 2022

Capak Presents New Croatian Vaccination Strategy: House to House

February the 12th, 2022 - There is a new Croatian vaccination strategy on the cards according to Croatian Public Health Institute director Krunoslav Capak - going from door to door.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Health Minister Vili Beros stated that they had first looked at the number of newly infected people, however, that number is no longer so important, especially with the arrival of the Omicron variant. Then they looked at the number of hospitalised people. Given the impact of Omicron, which doesn't cause so many initial respiratory problems, but can still put the elderly who are unvaccinated and who have comorbidities in hospital, the most important thing for him personally is how many people are in intensive care. He said that the infection rate is no longer really as important as the number of people in hospital beds.

''As of January the 10th, when Croatia started using the new methodology of counting deaths, we've had 1,529 of our fellow citizens who have died, for 1,107 of those people, we can say that they did die from covid, and for 422 others, we can say that they died with covid,'' the minister said.

''We've had several important meetings at the Ministry of Health, first about the waiting list for oncology patients, everything that this pandemic has brought us, and especially what will happen when it ends. Then all the problems, and especially the epidemic of oncological problems and mental health issues that will follow, we must prepare for that. Another important meeting was to look at the current situation with the epidemic in the context of vaccination,'' Beros said.

A new Croatian vaccination strategy

He added that the CNIPH had expressed its views, which were supported by others. Then the head of the CNIPH explained what those views regarding vaccination were about.

“Since we've reached one plateau of vaccination, it is now very difficult to move towards larger numbers and coverage. The last time we had a wave was in November where people were more interested in getting their first doses, but now we've come to a situation where the numbers are very small for the first doses (primary vaccination) and booster doses and we're now talking about what we could do to improve this shift towards greater vaccination coverage of the population,'' said Capak, H1 reports.

They identified certain weak points and made suggestions for resolving them with a new Croatian vaccination strategy.

"What is very important to say is that we've changed our plans in parallel with how we implemented vaccination so far and there is nothing here that we didn't already mention in that plan, but we're now basing it on some weak points of our implementation that we would like to improve," explained Capak.

When people claim they don't want to be vaccinated, those who aren't simple anti-vaxxers say things like that they have fears about an 'insufficiently tested vaccine' and secondly, the fear of the side effects. That’s why we’ve opened counseling centres, where people can consult a doctor about their fears,'' Capak said.

In addition to that, the availability of vaccines has been being worked on, so Capak explained that there are now mobile teams that would go around the houses and vaccinate people who could not go to the vaccination point to receive their dose for whatever reason. "We've done a lot when it comes to the availability of vaccines, but now we have decided to strengthen our mobile teams, so that anyone who cannot come for vaccination for any reason, can just get vaccinated at home," he said.

"We'll also stimulate drive-in vaccination, we will strengthen that part and make sure people know they don't even have to get out of their cars," said Capak.

"For those chronically ill patients who come to hospitals, we'll ask hospitals to ask them if they have been vaccinated and to vaccinate them in hospitals where there are facilities to ensure that," added the head of the CNIPH when discussing this new Croatian vaccination strategy.

“We also have the experience that where settlements are scattered, in more rural areas, vaccination coverage is lower. We'll talk to our colleagues in the field to enable either a bus or a van, these mobile teams to get to a local post office or school, so that all those who cannot get to the county centres can get vaccinated there,'' said Capak.

When asked what numbers people think they can come up with with a new Croatian vaccination strategy, Capak said he wouldn't like to try to predict. "We'll certainly not achieve the 90 percent figure that Norway and other developed countries have, but we hope to succeed with between 70 and 80 percent," Capak said.

Responding to the comments of many experts, who believe that the number of vaccinated people living in Croatia will not increase, Capak said that they at the CNIPH do not share this view and that is why they are adopting this new Croatian vaccination strategy.

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, 11 February 2022

Student Self-Testing Video Published by Croatian Public Health Institute

February 11, 2022 - The Croatian Public Health Institute has released a student self-testing video with instructions on the simple 4-step process. 

The Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) released a video with instructions for student self-testing, which is carried out in four main steps, reports 24 Sata.

The goal of student self-testing is to increase the probability of holding classes in person, on the school premises, for as long as possible by abolishing self-isolation measures (quarantine).

"An additional goal is to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 in school and the family. The regular self-testing measure is voluntary. However, for its successful and effective implementation, it is important that as many students as possible participate in regular self-testing," says the Croatian Public Health Institute.

 

Self-testing is conducted in four main steps:

1. Read the instructions for use and wash your hands.

2. Take a test sample.

3. Conduct testing.

4. Find out the result in 15-20 minutes.

What if the result is positive, and what if it is negative?

- negative result - the student goes to school,

- positive result - the student stays at home, reports to the doctor and the school.

Recall, on February 9, the Ministry of Science and Education sent instructions to principals regarding student self-testing in Croatia. 

Index.hr reported that the Civil Protection Headquarters would deliver rapid antigen tests to schools, after which the schools distribute the tests to parents or guardians or students. Testing is conducted once a week by a parent, guardian, or student. If the test result is positive, information about the positive test is reported to the educational institution's selected family doctor or pediatrician.

All students with a negative result continue to attend classes regularly, and if they test positive, they do not come to school. Testing is repeated for the entire class in which positive test results are determined the first day after a student receives a positive Covid test.

Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs commented on student self-testing in an interview with HRT, confirming that the distribution of tests had begun.

Fuchs called the process of rapid antigen testing "a de facto process of abolishing self-isolation for students so that all those who are not ill are in school." However, he also said that this was not a step towards mandatory testing or vaccination.

Fuchs said the first part of the tests, about 300,000, went to Dalmatia on February 8.

"Of course, we are going to the islands as a priority, as it is a bit more challenging to distribute there, and that's why we went to the Dalmatian regions first.

The rest, up to a million, were expected to arrive at civil protection warehouses on February 9, and the moment these tests were received, they immediately moved on to schools. So I think by the end of the week or early next week, all schools will have tests available," Fuchs said a few days ago.

“We have said that this student testing is voluntary and that parents will declare in one piece of paper whether or not they will conduct testing of their child,” he said.

"All those who refuse, nothing will happen to them, nor the children, of course, except that the moment a positive student appears in the class, or possibly someone from that child's environment becomes ill, that child will have to go into isolation," Fuchs said.

He also said that these tests are very similar to those that can be bought in pharmacies and that, unlike PCR, it is not inserted deep into the nose with a test cotton swab or stick. Still, a swab is taken from the front of the nasal cavity, and it is a straightforward procedure.

Fuchs also said that parents who will not test their children and say that they were negative would not be traced because they do not intend to apply any repressive measures.

“I hope the parents are responsible enough and won’t cheat because this is done so that the education system would virtually abolish self-isolation using a self-testing system,” he said. 

Fuchs also said that if the number of positive results dropped significantly, in February, they would switch to the testing variant only in those classes when it is ordered. After that, it would be ordered when a positive case occurs.

"And after that, we would go for the complete abolition of both testing and self-isolation if the data from the field justify it," Fuchs said. He also said that they did not consider testing children in kindergartens.

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, 11 February 2022

Croatia Reports 7,578 New Coronavirus Cases, 44 Deaths

ZAGREB, 11 Feb 2022 - In the last 24 hours 7,578 coronavirus cases, out of 11,976 tests, and 44 related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Friday.

There are 43,520 active cases, including 2,133 hospitalized patients, of whom 171 are hooked up to ventilators, while 22,155 persons are self-isolating.

To date, 56.7% of the total population, or 67.46% of adults have been vaccinated, with 65.15% of adults fully.

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, 10 February 2022

Minister Says New Infections Down, but Restrictions to Remain

ZAGREB, 10 Feb 2022 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Thursday new coronavirus cases were on a downward curve but that due to the low vaccination rate, easing protocols and changing the role of COVID certificates was not under consideration yet.

We must be aware of the fact that there is still a large number of unvaccinated citizens who can become seriously ill, which is why Croatia cannot follow the examples of Denmark, Sweden or Great Britain, where sufficient vaccination rates allow for easing the restrictions, he said at a cabinet session.

Sharpest fall in new infections in the fifth wave

Beroš said that today Croatia had nearly 32% fewer daily new cases week on week and that this was the sharpest fall in the fifth wave of the epidemic.

In the last 24 hours, 45.81% of PCR tests and 10.69% of rapid antigen tests have come back positive.

The highest numbers of new cases have been recorded in Bjelovar-Bilogora, Šibenik-Knin and Zadar counties.

There are 57 fewer hospitalised COVID patients than yesterday and 13 fewer on ventilators.

There has been a mild fall in hospitalisations in the past few days, including fewer patients in intensive care units and on ventilators, the minister said.

To date 2,215,898 persons have been vaccinated, including 829,638 with a booster shot or 21.33% of the population.

COVID certificates continue to reduce the risk of infection spreading in hospitals, care homes and some work environments, Beroš said.

Despite sufficient vaccines and vaccination points, interest in vaccination is increasingly low, although Croatian Institute of Public Health data show that those who received a booster shot and later have been infected accounted for a mere 0.4% of  the total population.

Beroš said the ministry continued to monitor the provision of all emergency medical services and that special protocols existed for oncology patients to schedule checkups.

He said the expected rise in the number of oncology patients would not bypass Croatia and that the necessary steps were being taken to deal with the problem.

"The availability of health services for vulnerable groups is our priority. Priority waiting lists are being adjusted to additionally expand the possibility of urgent diagnostics for oncology patients," he added.

Coexisting with a virus which could stay long in the community

The head of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, said one could say that infection with the Omicron variant, which caused a surge in new cases and threatened to overload the health system, was decreasing.

"If such trends continue, while specially following the situation in the health system, the crisis management team will closely analyse a possible pace of easing the restrictions and creating the prerequisites for coexisting with a virus which could stay long in the community."

It will be very important to work on the education of citizens and define recommendations for the effective protection of every individual, with emphasis on greater caution for at-risk groups, Božinović added.

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, 10 February 2022

Croatia Records 8,971 New Coronavirus Cases, 48 Deaths

ZAGREB, 10 Feb 2022 - Croatia has recorded 8,971 new coronavirus cases and 48 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the authorities reported on Thursday.

The national coronavirus response team said on Thursday that currently there are 46,346 active cases in the country, among whom are 2,131 people being treated in hospitals, including 173 placed on ventilators, while 21,865 people are self-isolating.

Since the start of the pandemic in Croatia, 1,004, 804 people have been registered as having contracted the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, of whom 14,329 have died and 944,129 have recovered, including 7,477 in the last 24 hours. 

To date, 4,375,754 people have been tested and 5,147,524 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. 56.68 per cent of the total population, or 67.44 per cent of adults, have been vaccinated. A total of 2,300,234 people have received at least one dose and 2,215,898 have been fully vaccinated, which is 65.12 per cent of the adult population.

 

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Croatia Logs 11,299 COVID Cases, Nearly 4,000 Fewer Than Last Wednesday

ZAGREB, 9 Feb 2022 - In the last 24 hours 11,299 coronavirus cases have been registered in Croatia, nearly 4,000 fewer than last Wednesday, as well as 37 related deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Wednesday.

In the last 24 hours 16,904 persons have been tested for the virus.

There are 47,530 active cases, including 2,188 hospitalised patients, of whom 186 are hooked on to ventilators, while 20,788 persons are self-isolating.

To date 56.67% of the total population has been vaccinated, or 67.42% of adults, of whom 65.08% are fully 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.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Student Self-testing in Croatia: Principals Receive Instructions

February 9, 2022 - Student self-testing in Croatia should begin soon as the Ministry of Science and Education has sent instructions to principals.

How will it look?
Index.hr reports that the procedure should be as follows: The Civil Protection Headquarters will deliver rapid antigen tests to schools. Schools will then distribute the tests to parents or guardians, or students. Testing is conducted once a week by a parent, guardian, or student. If the test result is positive, information about the positive test is reported to the educational institution's selected family doctor or pediatrician.

All students with a negative result continue to attend classes regularly, and if they test positive, they do not come to school.

Testing is repeated for the entire class in which positive test results are determined the first day after a student receives a positive Covid test.

What did Fuchs say about it today?
Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs commented on student self-testing in an interview with HRT today, confirming that the distribution of tests has begun.

Fuchs called the process of rapid antigen testing "a de facto process of abolishing self-isolation for students so that all those who are not ill are in school." However, he also said that this was not a step towards mandatory testing or vaccination.

Fuchs said the first part of the tests, about 300,000, went to Dalmatia yesterday.

"At the end of this or the beginning of next week, all schools will have tests available."
"Of course, we are going to the islands as a priority, as it is a bit more difficult to distribute there, and that's why we went to the Dalmatian regions first.

The rest, up to a million, arrive maybe today in civil protection warehouses, and the moment these tests are received, they immediately move on to schools. So I think by the end of the week or early next week, all schools will have tests available," Fuchs said.

“We have said that this student testing is voluntary and that parents will declare in one piece of paper whether or not they will conduct testing of their child,” he said.

What if someone refuses?
"All those who refuse, de facto, nothing will happen to them, nor the children, of course, except that the moment a positive student appears in the class, or possibly someone from that child's environment becomes ill, that child will have to go into isolation," Fuchs said.

He also said that these tests are very similar to those that can be bought in pharmacies and that, unlike PCR, it is not inserted deep into the nose with a test cotton swab or stick. Still, a swab is taken from the front of the nasal cavity, and it is a straightforward procedure.

There are no repressive measures.
Fuchs also said that parents who will not test their children and will say that they were negative will not be traced because they do not intend to apply any repressive measures.

“I hope the parents are responsible enough and won’t cheat because this is done so that the education system would virtually abolish self-isolation using a self-testing system,” he said. 

"These slogans, shouts and petitions 'We don't give our children' are quite incomprehensible; I don't understand them, no one touches children. In fact, after these two years of the pandemic, we are doing everything to give children a more normal life and attend school better," said Fuchs.

"Removing both testing and self-isolation if field data justify it."
Fuchs also said that if the number of positives dropped significantly, in February, they would switch to the testing variant only in those classes when it is ordered. It would be ordered when a positive case occurs.

"And after that, we would go for the complete abolition of both testing and self-isolation if the data from the field justify it," Fuchs said. He also said that they did not consider testing children in kindergartens.

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.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković Received Booster Dose

February 9, 2022 - The vaccination campaign across the country continues during omicron, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenković received booster dose today. Croatia is currently leading in terms of mortality per million inhabitants, and at the same time, is at the bottom of the EU in terms of vaccination.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković received booster dose of the vaccine, reports Telegram. With the publication of a photo of the moment when he received the dose, Plenković again called on the citizens to respond to the vaccination, especially in the middle of the wave of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“In addition to my previous recovery from COVID-19 and two doses of vaccine, I also received a booster dose today, in consultation with doctors. The additional dose is particularly important during omicron circumstances. Get vaccinated and use a booster to protect against more severe forms of COVID'', Plenković announced on Twitter. The Prime Minister received the second dose five months ago, on September 10, 2021.

Plenković calls for vaccination in the midst of the collapse of the vaccination campaign. It was announced today that the CNIPH is developing a new strategy because sufficient quantities of vaccines, mobile teams, and counseling centers have not yielded the desired results. Yesterday, only 613 people were vaccinated with the first dose in Croatia.

Croatia is currently leading in terms of mortality per million inhabitants, and at the same time, is at the bottom of the EU in terms of vaccination. The number of deaths in Croatia during the pandemic is 14,244, and in the first week of February alone, 367 people died. In January, 267 people died in the same period, which means that in the first seven days of this month, as many as 100 people died more than in the same period last month - and this can be attributed to poor vaccination.

In Croatia, only 56.5 percent of citizens were vaccinated with the first dose which, when it comes to COVID, is too little to reduce mortality. 54.3 percent of citizens were vaccinated with two doses, and 19.6 percent with the booster. Citizens' interest in vaccination is declining from month to month - yesterday only 613 people were vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine, and the day before, on Sunday, just 11 of them.

For more, check out our politics section.

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, 8 February 2022

HDZ Official Rules Out Scrapping COVID Passes

ZAGREB, 8 Feb 2022 - Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) vice president Branko Bačić said on Tuesday that the current epidemiological situation did not allow for a possible revocation of COVID passes.

"It's neither under discussion nor consideration," Bačić said in response to reporters' questions if the authorities are considering doing away with COVID certificates.

He recalled that the current epidemiological situation, including a rate of only 67% of fully vaccinated persons and the current incidence rate, were not conducive to plans to ease the restrictions.

Since the introduction of the COVID certificate mandate in the public sector, approximately 120,000 asymptomatic citizens have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

He said that vaccination rates in the countries that are now thinking of scrapping COVID passes are much higher than in Croatia.

There is no country in Europe that has completely done away with COVID certificates,  he said.

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Croatia Logs 5,545 New COVID Cases, 50 Deaths

ZAGREB, 8 Feb 2022 - In the last 24 hours 5,545 new coronavirus cases, out of 13,669 tests, and 50 related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Tuesday.

There are 43,467 active cases, including 2,229 hospitalised patients, of whom 182 are on ventilators, while 19,966 persons are self-isolating.

To date, Croatia has registered 990,595 coronavirus cases, 14,244 related deaths, and 56.65% of the total population has been vaccinated, i.e. 67.40% of adults, of whom 65.05% fully.

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