Thursday, 3 February 2022

Croatia Logs 13,186 New COVID-19 Infections, 42 Deaths

ZAGREB, 3 Feb 2022 - In the last 24 hours, there have been 13,186 new cases of infection with coronavirus in Croatia, identified with both PCR and rapid antigen tests, while 42 patients have died, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Thursday.

A total of 2,108 patients are receiving hospital treatment, including 194 who are on ventilators.

The number of active cases stands at 59,927 while 26,731 people are self-isolating.

Since the start of the epidemic in March 2020, 963,370 people have become infected with the novel coronavirus and 13,989 have died.

To date, 4,285,836 persons have been tested, including 18,142 in the past 24 hours.

A total of 56.58% of the total population has been vaccinated with at least one dose or 67.33% of adults. A total of 64.92% of adults have been 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.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Minister: War Against Coronavirus Can Be Won Only with Unity, Scientific Approach

ZAGREB, 3 Feb 2022 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said in the parliament on Thursday the battle against coronavirus could be won only with unity and a science-based approach, vaccination, and compliance with epidemiological rules.

Submitting a report on the effects of epidemiological measures taken to fight coronavirus between 1 September and the end of December 2021, the minister defended the introduction of the EU digital certificate, which he said had proven to be "a universal tool in the fight against the epidemic in all EU members", noting that ample research confirmed its efficacy.

As for figures related to the pandemic, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Croatian Health Insurance Institute has paid close to five billion kuna from mandatory health insurance, and around HRK 122 million for special bonuses to health workers.

In the period from 1 September to the end of December 2021, 1.4 million vaccine doses were administered, putting the total number of vaccine doses used at 4.7 million. By the end of December 2021, 55.58% of the total population was vaccinated, or 66.33% of the adult population, with the vaccination rate being the highest in Zagreb.

Number of fatalities due to low vaccination rate, population age, risk factors

Responding to opposition criticism regarding the high COVID-19 mortality rate, Beroš said that Croatia had a low vaccination rate, an old population and that there were many risk factors, such as obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Also, high mortality was reported also before the epidemic, and as regards lethality - the number of deaths in relation to the number of infections, is lower than in many other countries in the world and around the lethality rate in Europe, he said.

Beroš also noted that hospitals did not deal exclusively with COVID patients and that the latest information showed that hospitals provided for cancer patients without any problems and that no problems had been identified in the implementation of preventive cancer programmes either.

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, 3 February 2022

MPs Divided on COVID Certificates

ZAGREB, 3 Feb 2022 - Ahead of a parliamentary debate on a government report on the effects of epidemiological measures taken to fight coronavirus between 1 September and the end of December 2021, the issue of COVID certificates divided the parliamentary majority and opposition deputies.

Opposition deputies stressed that the introduction of those certificates was the worst decision in the two years of the pandemic and that they should be abolished while the ruling HDZ insisted the certificates had to be kept.

Abolishing the certificates would leave us within our borders, and we want to be European citizens and travel, said HDZ MP Maja Grba Bujević.

Let us abolish the certificates, a discriminatory measure that we cannot afford anyway, and that has proven ineffective and costs the economy too much. Money for testing could be used in a much better way, said Bridge MP Marija Selak Raspudić.

Marijan Pavliček of the Croatian Sovereignists said that a number of contradictory and futile decisions had been made in the past two years, with the one on the introduction of certificates being the worst.

Pavliček as well as Stephen Nikola Bartulica (Homeland Movement) criticized plans to test school children.

"By introducing testing you are putting pressure on children and parents, the more so as children get infected less and have milder symptoms," Pavliček said.

SDP: We need clear leadership, clear measures

Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP Peđa Grbin expressed hope the Omicron variant was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we need clear leadership and clear measures so that we do not make a mistake on the path on which we have often wondered, he said.

Ivana Kekin of the Green-Left Bloc said that since the end of October Croatia had lost more than 5,000 people to COVID, describing that as tragic.

We are ninth in the world in terms of the number of COVID fatalities, we have the highest death rate when it comes to deaths caused by the Omicron variant, in January we lost 1,800 people and 80% of them were not vaccinated, she said, wondering who would assume responsibility - the COVID-19 response team, the health minister or the prime minister.

Answering to opposition criticisms, HDZ MP Grba Bujević said wise and well-thought-out measures were taken.

One should not just look at the figures but at a number of other elements as well. The government and the state invested a lot of effort to procure the vaccine, which is free, the health system did not collapse even though some said it would, and free testing is available, she said.

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.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 15,287 New Cases, 54 Deaths

ZAGREB, 2 Feb 2022 - In the past 24 hours, there have been 15,287 new cases of coronavirus infections in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Wednesday.

The COVID-related death toll has risen by 54, to a total of 13,947.

Currently, there are 60,264 active cases of those infected with SARS-CoV-2. 2,067 COVID patients are receiving hospital treatment, of which 190 are placed on ventilators.

As many as 64.89% of adults have fully been 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.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Croatia Logs 66 COVID-19 Deaths, 7,385 New Infections

ZAGREB, 1 Feb 2022 - In the past 24 hours Croatia has logged 7,385 new COVID cases whereas another 66 people have died as a consequence, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

There are currently 2,052 hospitalised COVID patients, including 183 on ventilators.

There are 54,773 active cases in the country and 28,890 people are self-isolating, while 7,196 have recovered in the past 24 hours.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic, 944,552 cases of coronavirus infection have been identified and 13,893 people have died of the disease.

To date, 4,247,960 tests have been conducted, including 16,589 in the past 24 hours.

A total of 56.55% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose or 67.29% of the adult population while 64.85% of the adult population has received two doses.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

New Croatian Covid Rules for Travel Outside of Croatia Now in Force

February the 1st, 2022 - Croatian covid rules for travel outside of the country's borders are in force as of today. On top of that, a few other things are changing in regard to the epidemiological measures.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, when will the self-isolation rule for students be abolished, when does their mass testing begin? How will all of this be implemented? Are the schools ready for it? What will the new rules for determining the need for self-isolation look like amid the spread of Omicron and when can the application of these new Croatian covid rules be expected? These are all of the questions floating around as new Croatian covid rules enter into force.

The deputy director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Ivana Pavic Simetin, advisor to the Minister of Education Bozo Pavicin and the president of the Split-Dalmatia branch of the Association of Primary School Principals. Djuro Baloevic, all talked about this as guests of a recent Croatian Radio show.

Ivana Pavic Simetin first spoke about today's Croatian covid rules, with a special emphasis placed on people planning to travel outside of Croatia. She said the move was done to harmonise Croatian covid rules with those regarding travel at the European Union (EU) level.

''For the first time now, the European Commission (EC) is prescribing how long a covid certificate based on vaccination lasts. These certificates are valid for nine months as of full vaccination from today. The booster dose validity is unlimited for now, but administratively speaking, it will most likely remain valid for year from its receipt. If the scientific evidence reveals anything new about the long-term immunity following a person having their booster dose, then it would be extended depending on new findings,'' she said.

For those who were vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine and then caught and recovered from the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, she said that as far as EU digital certificates are concerned, all three types of certificates can be requested.

''One can be requested based on vaccination, one can be requested based on recovery, and then someone who catches Omicron following their vaccination can get a covid certificate which is valid for six months based on their recovery,'' she explained.

Regarding the shortening of the self-isolation period in the wake of Omicron, she said that the document which will go over every detail will be agreed upon in the coming days.

"The whole idea is based on new knowledge about the Omicron variant,'' said Pavic Simetin.

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.

Monday, 31 January 2022

Epidemiologist Bernard Kaic: Covid Passes Have Less and Less Meaning

January the 31st, 2022 - Croatian epidemiologist Bernard Kaic has stated that covid passes, often called covid certificates or even passports, are having less and less meaning or sense as time goes on and the epidemiological situation unfolds. It appears that the Omicron variant is changing many parameters.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, epidemiologist Bernard Kaic was a recent guest of Dnevnik Nova TV and commented on the current epidemiological situation across Croatia, including covid confirmations, the Omicron variant and vaccination.

"The fact is that covid passes make less and less sense as time goes on with the emergence and spread of the Omicron variant," epidemiologist Bernard Kaic said. Now, at the time of the spread of the new Omicron variant, those who aren't yet vaccinated are more likely to be contagious than the vaccinated are, according to a CNIPH study. The rules have already started to change because of this new strain. Soon, there will probably be more changes regarding the use of covid passes. There will be a lot of changes,'' he added rather vaguely.

Something is constantly changing in this pandemic, it's difficult to keep up with all of the latest changes. All of these changes are fertile ground for conspiracy theories and the acquisition of mistrust. Whoever wants to interpret the changes as a reason for a lack of trust or as some conspiracy theory - can, of course. The fact is that things are changing because the situation is changing, and it's doing so from week to week,'' he explained.

He added that worries that people are still not getting vaccinated enough and believes that those who have not done so yet should make sure they do as soon as possible.

"We still have a large number of elderly people who haven't yet been vaccinated. Omicron rarely causes severe clinical pictures, but with such a wide circulation, we do still have a large number of hospitalised people, and sadly people are still dying,'' he said.

Some people also have doubts and have some odd beliefs when it comes to booster doses as well, but Kaic has a message for them: "If they don't believe what the profession says, let them read some scientific articles."

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.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Croatia Reports 6,220 New Coronavirus Cases, 46 Deaths

ZAGREB, 30 Jan 2022 - In the past 24 hours, 6,220 new coronavirus infections were detected out of 13,062 PCR tests, while 46 related deaths have been confirmed in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

There are 2,008 hospitalized patients, including 185 on ventilators, while 38,731 persons are self-isolating.

To date, 56.53% of the population has been vaccinated. This includes 67.72% of all adults, of which 64.82% 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.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

New Croatian Coronavirus Rules to Begin as of February 1st, 2022

January the 30th, 2022 - New Croatian coronavirus rules are set to come into force as of the 1st of February as things are altered to reflect what we know about the Omicron variant.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the meeting of the National Civil Protection Directorate with the representatives of the Dr. Andrija Stampar Public Health Institute, statements were given by Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic and the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak on the new Croatian coronavirus rules.

“As of the 1st of February, we'll extend the decisions which are currently in force. The change that will happen as of that day concerns the regulation of border crossings. From February the 1st, covid certificates will be issued for those vaccinated with two doses for a period of 270 days, with nothing changing for those who need to take PCR tests - they are valid for 72 hours after testing. As far as rapid antigen tests are concerned, it will be possible to cross the Croatian border if it hasn't been more than 24 hours since the test was taken, and when it comes to recovery from the virus, covid certificates will be provided for a period of 180 days since recovery. As of February the 1st, Croatia, in cooperation with the Croatian Institute of Public Health, will issue EU digital covid certificates with these validity deadlines,'' explained Davor Bozinovic.

“There is also the national component of covid certification to think about, this refers to the need for the certificates to enter healthcare facilities, social welfare facilities, as well as state and public services. We aren't going to change anything there. Everyone who has previously been issued with certificates, when it comes to both recovering from the illness and vaccination against it, will be able to use until the date until which they were issued, which is a period of 365 days. We've asked for the recognition of rapid antigen test results for the EU digital covid-certificate, but this hasn't yet been decided at the EU level as we wanted it to be. However, an increasing number of countries are joining our initiative and we expect that decision to be made.

The second part of our meeting on new Croatian coronavirus rules was dedicated to the possibility of shortening the self-isolation period given the speed of spread of the new Omicron variant. The healthcare system, public activities, and other necessary functions are being burdened, but more about that will be explained to you by Krunoslav Capak,'' said Davor Bozinovic, adding that all decisions on new Croatian coronavirus rules will be officially announced on Monday.

Krunoslav Capak then said: ''Omicron causes a milder clinical picture, especially in vaccinated people, but it has also learned to bypass the system and it spreads more quickly than others variants. It's important to reduce isolation and quarantine periods, as its incubation period lasts slightly shorter than those of previous variants, the disease itself is shorter and the person is less contagious. That's why we're considering shortening the quarantine period. An ECDC document was released yesterday recommending that this possibility be considered.

This will be regulated by Croatian Institute of Public Health recommendations which will be adopted soon, but we're considering reducing the quarantine period for all those who are vaccinated down to seven days, as well as shortening the isolation period for patients with only mild or moderate clinical pictures down to five days, provided that they don't show any symptoms for 24 hours following their exit from self-isolation and as long as they return a negative result on a rapid antigen test. For other people, the rule remains the same as it was before.

"As for the booster vaccine, things still haven't yet been properly defined. We provide 365 day covid certificates to people after they receive their third dose because there's still no scientific evidence to suggest how long this booster remains effective. Entry into Croatia, but also into other EU member states using EU digital covid certificates will be possible only on the basis of these new rules, which will be made valid from the 1st of February. We aren't just changing the part for their use within Croatia. If you travel to or from Croatia, then these new rules apply to you,'' added Bozinovic.

Asked whether complete abolition of covid certificates is being considered at all, Bozinovic said: "Their main purpose of them is to slow down the spread of the disease. It is almost impossible to stop this variant from spreading, but with these Croatian covid rules, wearing masks, which we're now emphasising, we can slow it down, and that is the most important thing. The abolition of covid certificates in the EU is not something on the table,'' he said.

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.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Petrov Says Government Will Do Anything to Avoid Referendum on COVID Certificates

ZAGREB, 29 Jan 2022 - Opposition Bridge party leader Božo Petrov said on Saturday the government would do anything to avoid a referendum on the constitutionality of COVID certificates, noting that it was not clear to him why the government was afraid of "its people" and its opinion.

"400,000 people gave their signatures in impossible conditions and a clear message was sent to the government and the Constitutional Court that they should not play with the people's will and that they should let the referendum happen. If they intend to stall, it will backfire on them, because this time people will not forget it," Petrov told reporters in Pazin, where a branch of the Bridge party was established.

Commenting on President Zoran Milanović's statement of Friday that the incumbent government was the most corrupt government Croatia has ever had and that the prime minister is protecting his corrupt associates, Petrov said that it was a fact the government had not done anything to rid the state of corruption.

"It is a fact that they opted to keep the Attorney General who was recently found to have protected a corrupt government minister and who shelved her case without having either dismissed or opened it. It literally took a European prosecutor to show what has to be done," Petrov said, adding that "the state does not work in people's interest."

He noted that topics other than the relationship between the president and the prime minister were much more important at present.

"Inflation, a serious price growth, 20% of people are on the brink of poverty. Given the coronavirus crisis and inflation, the situation can only get worse and I would like the president and the prime minister to deal with that," Petrov said, pointing to lack of any progress in the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb and Sisak-Moslavina County.

After 62 opposition MPs collected signatures for a motion to have Construction Minister Darko Horvat replaced, Petrov said that it was only normal the ruling HDZ party, which holds the majority in the parliament, would reject the motion but that that did not mean that its decision was right.

"I would be ashamed if I had to defend the minister in the parliament, even if he were my brother, I would tell him not to embarrass himself and to step down," he said.

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