Sunday, 12 December 2021

Covid Treatment Coming to Croatia - A Look at Access, Costs

December the 12th, 2021 - Covid treatment is set to arrive in Croatia, 1,800 doses of it to be more precise. The first doses are due to come at the end of the month, reports Dnevnik Nova TV.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this covid treatment is based on monoclonal antibodies which are are intended for people who have become unwell and have not developed a more severe clinical picture since contracting the infection, but have some indications that it could go in that direction. This was explained Tihana Slezak from the Croatian Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (HALMED).

Such drugs are effective if given within the first five days of the onset of the illness in the case of coronavirus. "It will be provided in hospital conditions in such a way that the patient will be in the hospital for about an hour or two while receiving this medicine and then they will be able to take care of themselves back at home," explained Professor Ivan Puljiz from the Fran Mihaljevic Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb.

Three drugs for covid treatment have been approved

A total of three drugs were approved for the treatment of the novel coronavirus. Two drugs used to treat other diseases have also been approved for use in patients with coronavirus. There are also two antiviral drugs in capsules that have been written about a lot - Merck and Pfizer. These two drugs are also intended for those who are at risk of developing a more severe form of the disease. "They can be used at home. They will be given on a prescription following a consultation with a doctor,'' noted Slezak of this covid treatment.

Croatia is currently negotiating the purchase of these two drugs. "Depending on the number of interested countries and the estimated total quantities of the medicine, the European Commission (EC) is negotiating at the European Union (EU) level a price that is unique for all countries participating in the joint procurement process and that has not been determined yet," they stated from the Croatian Ministry of Health.

''Merck is not something spectacular in the sense that it would be the final solution to the coronavirus pandemic,'' explained Dr. Ivo Ivic from the Clinic of Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital Centre in Split: "It will be very expensive. One therapy will cost around 500 euros. We'll be able to talk more about that part of the story later,'' he said.

''There's a possibility that some of the drugs, such as the one based on monoclonal antibodies, and such as those arriving in Croatia at the end of the month, will mean that the patient will need to sign a statement before using them,'' said Puljiz.

"It simply came to our notice then. It hasn't yet been defined, but I assume it will be the case. The drugs which are given orally will not need signatures,'' he said.

The only therapies given to try to treat a more severe clinical picture of the disease at this moment in time are oxygen, corticosteroids and some other drugs that work to reduce inflammation and drugs that prevent blood clotting.

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, 9 July 2021

Croatia Reports 87 New Coronavirus Cases, No Deaths in Last 24 Hours

ZAGREB, 9 July 2021- Croatia has registered 87 new coronavirus cases and no COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus crisis management team said on Friday.

The number of active cases currently stands at 612. Among them are 115 persons who are receiving hospital treatment, including four who are placed on ventilators. A total of 3,353 people are in self-isolation.

To date, 2,769,141 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 have been administered, with 1,534,856 people having received at least one dose and 1,234,285 having been inoculated with both doses.

A total of 2,184,648 people have been tested for the novel virus to date, including 3,678 in the last 24 hours.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 360,680 people have been registered as having contracted the coronavirus, of whom 8,226 have died and 351,842 have recovered, including 99 in the last 24 hours.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 31 May 2021

Croatia Coronavirus Update: 40 new cases, 12 deaths

May 31st, 2021 - In the past 24 hours 40 coronavirus cases and 12 deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 response team said on Monday.

There are 1,935 active cases and 797 hospitalized patients, including 84 on ventilators, while 10,140 persons are self-isolating.

So far Croatia has registered 356,181 coronavirus cases, 8,026 deaths, and 346,220 recoveries, including 397 in the past 24 hours, while 2,013,455 persons have been tested for the virus, including 2,116 in the past 24 hours.

So far 1,751,087 vaccines have been administered, with 1,272,513 persons receiving the first dose and 478,574 both.

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

Monday, 17 May 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update May 17: 116 New Cases, 30 Deaths

May 17, 2021 - Croatia's coronavirus update May 17 has recorded 116 new coronavirus cases and 30 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Monday.

The number of active cases currently stands at 5,293. Of them, 1,662 infected people are being treated in hospitals, including 173 placed on ventilators. A total of 19,085 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 350,506 people have been registered as infected with the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, of whom 7,738 have died 337,475 have recovered, including 1,025 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 1,929,591 people have been tested for COVID-19 to date, including 2,329 in the last 24 hours.

As of 16 May, 1,349,447 doses of vaccine have been administered, with 1,041,215 people receiving one dose and 308,232 receiving both doses. On 16 May alone, 2,456 doses were administered.

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

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 1,342 New Cases, 36 Deaths,1,866 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 8 May 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, 1,342 new cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Croatia, and there have been 36 related deaths bringing the death toll to 7,424, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Saturday.

The number of active cases in Croatia today stands at 10,705. There are 2,016 COVID patients in hospitals, 235 of whom are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case of the infection with the novel virus, a total of 343,829 people have been registered as having contracted coronavirus, and 325,700 have recovered, including 1,866 n the last 24 hours.

There are 28,152 people in self-isolation.

To date, 1,871,290 people have been tested, including 7,985 over the past 24 hours when the percentage of positive tests stood at 17%.

One in four adults vaccinated against COVID-19

Since the start of the implementation of the vaccine rollout plan at the beginning of this year, 835,320 people have been vaccinated. Of them, nearly 244,000 have received both shots of the two-dose vaccine.

The Croatian Institute of Public Health underscores that to date 25% of the adult population has received COVID vaccines.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Croatia Covid-19 Update: 2,535 New Cases, 31 Deaths

April 24, 2021 - Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 2,535 new cases of coronavirus infection and 31 deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Saturday.

This is slightly more infections than on Friday when 2,529 cases were confirmed, but the number of fatalities is lower as on Friday, 46 deaths were confirmed.

There are 2,214 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, 224 of whom are on ventilators.

Since the start of the epidemic, 321,372 people have contracted coronavirus, and 6,815 have died.

A total of 298,210 people have recovered, including 2,325 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 35,382 people in self-isolation, and the number of active cases stands at 16,347.

To date, 1,752,201 people have been tested, 9,184 of whom over the past 24 hours.

As of 23 April, 770,221 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Croatia, and 611,792 people have been vaccinated, with 450,976 receiving the first dose and 158,429 receiving both doses.

For 2,387 people, there is no data on how many doses they have received.

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

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Beroš Denies Second Lockdown, Sidesteps Political Future

July 12, 2020 — Croatia's Health Minister Vili Beroš in a wide-ranging interview with Novi List discussed the country's pandemic response, and the politics involved. 

How did you like this entry into politics?

Our entire list in the 10th constituency achieved a very good result. We won seven secure mandates, the eighth was close. What is most important to us is that the citizens of that part of our homeland recognized HDZ as the biggest guarantor of a more secure future for the country in the coming period and gave us the confidence to lead state policy and government.

Would the HDZ have had a much harder job without the coronavirus?

The coronavirus epidemic at one point almost paralyzed life in our country, as it did to a third of the world this winter and spring. We have dealt with it successfully so far, but we continue to fight the spread of the infection. Corona has changed the current way of life and behavior in public spaces, but also forced all of us to adapt to the new conditions. HDZ, like all parties, and all citizens, would live and work completely differently without the virus. Now that it's here, we need to know how to deal with it.

Has HDZ politicized the fight against the corona epidemic to its advantage?

The coronavirus was dealt with by our health professionals, top experts in the field of epidemiology and infectology, not politicians. The Croatian government knew how to manage in these moments of crisis, and the Civil Protection Headquarters operationally managed daily activities. The profession defined the answer, and politics recognized it.

What do you think about the opposition's claims that the HDZ endangered the lives of citizens by holding elections in the middle of the corona epidemic?

The opposition called for elections a year ago, and could hardly wait for them to take place. When they were announced, well, then it wasn't good again. Epidemiologists have estimated that this summer period is the most favorable from a health point of view as a time when elections with the least risk could be organized. The opposition also voted in favor of dissolving Parliament and holding elections. We see that the pre-election activities and the elections themselves did not significantly affect the epidemiological situation in the country.

What might the epidemiological situation look like in the fall and is a new lock-down possible?

We can only hope that autumn will be epidemiologically better than this spring. No one can say for sure, but our experience so far shows we know that a lot depends on the behavior of each of us. By adhering to self-protection measures, avoiding direct physical contact with strangers, maintaining distance, hygienic measures of persons and space, wearing protective masks in public transport, all this can reduce the risks of transmitting the infection. There should not and should not be a new lock-down, because no country's economy can survive for a long time, but if outbreaks appear, we could successfully localize them.

The possibility of banning gatherings indoors for more than 100 people is mentioned. Have you considered introducing a spatial norm per person instead, as some other countries have done? This would, in fact, continue life and business activities.

Our epidemiological experts and the Insitute of Public Health monitor the situation on a daily basis and recommend measures aimed at protecting human health, and yet enable, as much as possible in the new circumstances, to maintain the life and work activities of the population. It is not easy to balance it. But all of this cannot have the right result if each of us and all of us together do not adhere to the rules of conduct by which we protect ourselves and others. I would like to remind you that in the first months of the epidemic, our citizens contributed to great results with their responsible behavior, among the best of all countries. Encouraged by this, however, we all relaxed a little more than the situation allowed, so the virus began to spread again and the number of infected and sick increased. So, let's go back to the kind of behavior that guarantees us a more or less favorable situation so that we can live and work.

Compared to other countries, cancer is detected relatively late in Croatia, and mortality is high above the EU average. When will you adopt the National Cancer Program?

Adoption of the National Strategic Framework against Cancer 2020-2030 will include comprehensive monitoring, prevention and treatment of malignant diseases and will be improved with the inclusion and integration of tertiary prevention measures and optimization of health care for oncology patients. We expect the adoption of this document as soon as possible. Through the Action Plans, detailed action plans will be developed on a two-year basis, which includes the elaboration of needs for the procurement of diagnostic equipment. The strategic goal of this document is aimed at improving the health of citizens throughout life, reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer and prolonging and increasing the quality of life of cancer patients in the Republic of Croatia to the level of Western European countries.

Your predecessor, Milan Kujundžić, is reproached for not reducing the waiting lists, which have now been increased even more due to COVID-19. How to solve this problem, especially considering the fact that the virus will not disappear in the near future?

The waiting list has been pushed into the background by the epidemic and the situation in the health care system. We are now returning to that problem and are already working intensively on it. It is certain that they can be shortened. We include all available facilities to enable patients to access the necessary diagnostic examinations and medical services as soon as possible. We will also establish a permanent system of informing patients and the public about the results we will achieve.

The total debt in health care is now higher than 8.5 billion kuna. And on the other hand the budget is filling slowly due to the consequences of the epidemic. When and how will you start repaying that debt and how to curb rising costs?

The amount you mention is the total debt, but the overdue is much smaller. But in any case, it is burdensome for the health care system. It piled up for years, but it was up to us to deal with it. First of all, it is important to enable the regular operation of hospitals and health care institutions and the supply of medicines, and then to create systematic preconditions for reducing debts and turning the health care system into a self-sustainable one. I have no illusions that this is easily achievable in a short time, but I am determined to start taking steps to address them. Any positive shift for me will be encouraging.

The HDZ election program states that three billion kuna will be invested in the modernization of the health care system. How realistic is this given the economic consequences of the corona epidemic?

Yes, in our election program it is planned to invest three billion kuna in the next mandate in public health. So far, we have kept our promises. I believe that, despite the corona crisis and its impact on economic developments in us and in the world, we will adapt our economy to the new conditions and raise our business efficiency. The health of the nation is important, we have the consent of all that was best seen during the epidemic, and that is why I believe that we will find ways for new investments to enter health care.

In this regard, is the construction of the National Children's Hospital in Zagreb and the revitalization of the Institute of Immunology realistic, which is also promised in the program?

The National Children's Hospital is one of the priorities that we will certainly address in our mandate. The earthquake in Zagreb in March only exacerbated the need to build new hospital facilities in the Croatian capital. We did not sit idly by. We have been intensively looking for solutions, not only for the children's hospital, and I believe that by the end of this year we will be able to say when the implementation of these projects will begin, including the revitalization of the Institute of Immunology. I am not talking about wishes, but about real and probable financial sources that do not rely on the state budget.

After the situation with the coronavirus is stabilized, the internal party elections in the HDZ will continue. Will you run for a party position?

We recently had internal party elections. It will continue as soon as conditions are created and at lower levels. Honestly, I'm not thinking about it now, because the situation with the coronavirus and all the open issues of public health in Croatia require the full engagement of me and my associates.

The election victory of the HDZ is not a surprise, but such a big difference between the HDZ and the SDP is. Why did it turn out in the end that the HDZ won as many as 25 more seats?

The highly personalized campaign that came to the fore in the confrontation between Andrej Plenković and Davor Bernardić was crucial. In addition, the results of this Government in the previous term, as well as the program we presented, were a clear sign to the citizens to whom to give their faith.

The HDZ majority in parliament is only 76 seats. Is post-election cooperation with the Homeland Movement and Most possible in order to increase that majority?

HDZ can talk to everyone who has the mandate of Croatian voters and a similar political program, out of respect for them and for the voters. Our goal is to reduce divisions and tensions in Croatian society. It would be good if others would expand the margin for conversation and even communication technologies a bit. Tensions should be calmed and constructive talks should be held.

After this experience, are you thinking about continuing to take politics seriously, in the sense that one day you will take over a department that would have nothing to do with health?

I entered active politics as an assistant minister of health, and then at the beginning of the year I took over the duty of the minister of health. The decision on changing the direction or action is made by the party president Andrej Plenković.

In the political corridors, the possibility is mentioned that you could be the HDZ candidate for mayor of Zagreb in the local elections in May 2021. Is there such a possibility?

In politics, as in life, one should go step by step. Last week, we finished the parliamentary elections, the constitution of the Parliament is coming, and then the new government. When the time comes for local elections, then we will talk about it. The decision on the possibilities of candidacy will be made by the party president and party bodies, but I am sure after the election success that the HDZ candidate for mayor of Zagreb will also be the winner.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Zadar Once Again Finds Itself At Center of Croatia's Coronavirus Debate

July 11, 2020 — Zadar has become a magnet for epidemiologically dubious events, as a wedding for a Croatian general’s daughter produced a second wave of infections which trumped Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour.

Zadar was once a lodestar in Croatia’s fight against the coronavirus. The small seaside gem consistently kept infection rates lower than its other, larger coastal kin, including Split and Rijeka. The contact-tracing operations produced a swift tracking of other potential infections.

During Croatia’s coronavirus lull, Zadar cobbled together one of the longest streaks of without new coronavirus infections.

Then Zadrani cut loose and started partying.

Zadar reported seven new COVID-19 infections today. The new cases include a members of seaside town’s emergency medical apparatus. Many can be traced back to a single wedding held for the daughter of a Croatian general integral in the country's COVID-19 response, with members of the Defense Ministry in attendance.

The bacchanal last Friday drew about 300 attendees from all over Croatia, including 11 employees of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces. None were sent to self-isolation, according to Index.

The wedding has become the epicenter of discussion over new measures and restrictions, and prompted a nationwide debate over gatherings.

The director of the Institute of Emergency Medicine in Zadar, Ivica Erlić, confirmed for Slobodna Dalmacija that one of his doctors, who was at the Zadar wedding last weekend, was positive. But since then she has not returned to work, so no one in the Institute has had to isolate as a result.

Two other new infections are connected to the wedding and the others became infected elsewhere, the County’s Civil Protection Headquarters reported on Saturday.

The wedding pushed the bounds of the epidemiological measures allowed by the government, creating 23 new infections as of Friday.

"Because of this infected health worker, self-isolation was determined for 10 anesthesia specialists and three nurses, so four doctors from other hospitals are coming to Zadar," announced the director of the Zadar hospital Zeljko Culina at a press conference in front of the Zadar Polyclinic on Friday afternoon.

Epidemiologist Dr. Alan Medic warned that if several more such weddings happen "the story will no longer be able to be controlled". He hinted that there were indeed more than 300 people allowed at the wedding.

"Not everyone has to shake hands with everyone, not necessarily so much intimate contact,” he said. “Today is the seventh day since the wedding. We expect another day or two of the influx of new cases. I'm more afraid of their contacts because we had a transmission within the family, where a colleague was infected. She was not at the wedding. 

“It is impossible to do the whole reconstruction, we have a colorful list of about 300-350 guests, band members, staff ... We call them all guests,” Medic said on Friday.

The General in question is the commander of the HV Support Command, which set up tents in front of the Dubrava Hospital during the quarantine with the soldiers.

In mid-April, he met with then-Defense Minister Davor Krsticevic and Health Minister Vili Beroš in Zadar and explained that the role of the Croatian army in defending against coronavirus was very important.

Fuzul pointed out that the military has elaborate plans and the ability to take many things upon itself. Fuzul also talked about measures against coronavirus. He particularly emphasized spacing as a measure of corona protection.

"Respecting the guidelines of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, we follow them by adapting them to our daily activities,” he reportedly said at the time. “We work with maximum protection measures, respecting distance and everything else that was ordered. […] Thus, we do not burden the civil system, but we can take the burden on ourselves.”

The health minister Beroš shifted four doctors from elsewhere in Croatia to Zadar, hoping to plug a staffing shortage created by the wedding’s new infections.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Croatia's Health Minister Trying To Lower COVID-19 Test Prices

July 11, 2020 — Croatia’s Health Minister said the country must try to lower the cost of COVID-19 tests.

Croatia’s Health Minister Vili Beroš announced via Facebook this morning that the state will try to provide lower prices for coronavirus testing for citizens who have not developed symptoms of the COVID-19 yet suspect that they are infected.

General practitioners, family doctors and epidemiologists can order patients to get tested, with the cost covered by the nation’s healthcare system. But those orders have reportedly been hard to come by, with many doctors anecdotally adopting a “wait and see” approach rather than definitive testing to confirm potential cases.

Currently, those seeking a COVID-19 test without indications they are infected must pay HRK1,500, a prohibitive cost in a country with net wages averaging around HRK6,000.

In private clinics, serological tests can be performed for about 150 kuna.

"Testing for COVID-19 for all Croatian citizens, who according to epidemiologists have indications, is completely free,” Beroš wrote on Facebook. “One of the best tests with a very high percentage of reliability is used in Croatia. It is somewhat more expensive, but the accuracy of the results is important to us. For all citizens who, due to their needs, want to be tested, we will try to ensure the most acceptable testing prices.”

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Zadar Inspectors Check Nightlife and Crash Wedding, Seeking COVID-19 Violations

July 1, 2020 — A spike in nightlife-related coronavirus infections prompted Zadar's Civil Protection Directorate to send inspectors to clubs, cafes, parties and even weddings. While most businesses adopted the recommended precautions, one violation was noteworthy and inspectors found several omissions.

Zadar's inspectors spent the weekend club crawling and checking the nightlife scene, according to Zadarski List. The head of the unit, Mate Lukić, said in a report to the city's authorities that most businesses subjected to the 73 inspections followed protocols.

"It is my pleasure that, except in one case, I can say that we did not notice any major omissions given that all facilities did their best to adhere to the recommendations, and even in the part where they are not obliged to do so," he said. "We were even at parties."

Nightclubs and late-night social events became a flashpoint in Croatia's coronavirus fight after a large number of young people in Zagreb have been infected in recent days,

The inspections uncovered slight departures from the rules, which inspectors let off with 17 warnings.

"The members of the Civil Protection Unit are more than fair to the citizens," Lukić said. "We often act educationally because these sudden changes related to the appearance of the virus confuse the citizens as well."

The inspectors did, however, fine one establishment for having water in what was supposed to be a disinfectant bottle.

A majority of citizens adhered to measures, Lukić added, with some establishments going out of their way to impose the rules upon guests. At the outdoor bar "Hype", for example, all staff members from guards to waiters use protective equipment. Hostesses disinfect guests' hands before entering.

The hardest part of the job was inspecting weddings, Lukić said, crashing unannounced into the most important day of the year for the newlyweds. The inspectors were met with some pushback as they did their job, though the results were more than satisfactory — it turned out that the wedding organizers and the owners of the facilities respected the measures.

The team included two inspectors and two police officers, Lukić added.

"As a unit leader who monitors the situation on the ground on a daily basis, I can say that I am glad that people are adhering to the measures so carefully, accepting the new situation in which we must protect ourselves and others to the maximum," Lukić said. "On the other hand, we see that the people of Zadar have continued with their usual life because, judging by our tours of the clubs, the nightlife is active."

The Chief of the Civil Protection Directorate of the City of Zadar, Ante Babić, said the latest measures came after the Adria Tour and an increase in visitors sparked concern over more potential infections.

"We usually issue warnings, but as the police and the State Inspectorate visit the facilities, misdemeanor proceedings can be initiated for serious violations of measures," Babić said.

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