Monday, 9 March 2020

Croatia Working on Coronavirus Measures in Education

ZAGREB, March 9, 2020 - Croatia is working on various measures in education in light of the coronavirus epidemic, Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said on Monday, adding that an EU ministerial conference would be held on Thursday at which conclusions were expected for all member states.

The ministry will provide information as necessary, in cooperation with the national civil protection authority, Divjak told reporters, dismissing a question about a possible threat from Italy.

We are sending headmasters everything we have planned, primarily instructions concerning hygiene, assembly and travel, she added.

She said a UNESCO conference on how coronavirus was affecting education would be held tomorrow and that certain conclusions would be made.

For Thursday, Divjak convened a ministerial conference of the EU's 27 member states at which the EU's response to the impact of the virus on education was expected.

It's very important to see the practice in the member states and we expect conclusions which would be universal for all, she said, adding that Croatia was prepared to coordinate all activities and that this was why the conference was convened.

Headmasters must see to hygiene measures, for which the ministry is giving them money, Divjak said. "I'm sure the money is there, but it's necessary to see to it that all that is necessary is procured and that the money is given to schools in time."

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Plenković Discusses Coronavirus Containment with Leaders of Seven Countries

ZAGREB, March 9, 2020 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has held a video conference with the president of Cyprus and the prime ministers of Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel, Italy and Romania on possible joint activities in containing the spread of the coronavirus, a government press release said on Monday.

Plenković informed Nicos Anastasiades, Sebastian Kurz, Boyko Borissov, Viktor Orban, Benjamin Netanyahu, Giuseppe Conte and Ludovic Orban about 12 confirmed coronavirus cases in three cities in Croatia. He said that Croatia had responded promptly and coordinated the activities of all government departments in preparing measures for the protection of public health and safety.

Plenković outlined the activities Croatia had undertaken at EU level as the current president of the Council of the European Union, citing the activation of the integrated crisis response mechanism on 28 January, the initiation of the extraordinary meetings of EU health ministers of 13 February and 6 March, and the coordination of EU finance ministers.

He highlighted the need for close cooperation between the countries and for a concerted approach in implementing all appropriate measures to contain the virus.

The heads of government and state stressed the importance of strengthening medical and scientific cooperation in order to discover a vaccine as soon as possible and further improve rapid diagnostic tests. They also underlined the need for the further coordination of all activities and the exchange of the best experiences in preventing the spread of the infection.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Rise to 12 in Croatia

ZAGREB, March 7, 2020 - Another person in Croatia has been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of the people infected to 12, the national civil protection authority said on Saturday morning.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

The newly-infected person is a close family contact of the second person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the northern city of Varaždin, the Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb confirmed. This latest case has been the fourth case of the positive test in that northern city.

Apart from Varaždin, in Zagreb there have been three patients to date and five in Rijeka.

Last Thursday, Health Minister Vili Beroš declared a danger from an infectious diseases epidemic as an administrative measure at the recommendation of the Croatian Public Health Institute. The measure will enable the minister to reallocate people and equipment in the healthcare system as necessary.

According to the data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), on Friday there were over 5,500 cases that have tested positive in the 27 EU member-states, Great Britain and in the European Economic Area countries.

Both Croatia and the European Union currently have sufficient resources to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, however, it remains to be seen how long this crisis will last, Croatian Minister Beroš said in Brussels on Friday after an extraordinary meeting of the European Union's health ministers over the COVID-19 virus.

More coronavirus can be found in the Lifestyle section.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Epidemiological Situation with Coronavirus in Croatia Satisfactory

ZAGREB, March 5, 2020 - Health Minister Vili Beroš submitted a report on the epidemiological situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, saying that the situation in the country was satisfactory given that only ten people were infected.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

"Of the 251 people tested to date, 10 are positive for now: three in Zagreb, five in Rijeka and two in Varaždin. This epidemiological picture is promising and satisfactory because there are only three hotspots. These are imported cases and their contacts were quickly detected and placed under supervision by epidemiological services," the minister said.

Beroš noted that the patients in Zagreb and Rijeka were infected by one imported patient, while in Varaždin there are two isolated cases of imported patients. The ratio of people who tested positive to the number of those tested is 3.98 percent, he added.

The minister said that the epidemiological situation was not that serious as to require closing schools, and that a number of other measures were ready for activation if necessary.

"If the situation escalates, we will respond," Beroš said, adding that alternative ways of conducting school classes were ensured.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković stressed that no decision had been made to suspend school classes. "We are monitoring the situation and everything we have done so far is sober, rational, transparent and informative, and no other measures are in place. It is important that the public knows this," he added.

Beroš said that there were plans to conduct classes online but that this was just a theoretical possibility for now. "I hope this crisis lasts as briefly as possible and that warm weather will lead to the epidemic abating. There's no need to alarm the public," he said, urging caution at public events.

Beroš said there have been no plans for now to cancel events as part of the Croatian presidency of the European Union. He added that the authorities were implementing the planned epidemiological measures to contain the infection and called on everyone to follow the recommendations from the authorities and to exercise caution.

A total of 95,484 people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, of whom 15,054 outside China. The death toll has reached 3,286, including 271 outside China.

"In Europe, which has seen a noticeable rise in the number of cases, 4,370 people have been infected and 114 of them have died. The hardest-hit countries are Italy with 3,089 cases, France with 285, Germany with 262 and Spain with 228 cases," Beroš said.

He said that the national civil protection authority was meeting on a daily basis and that all government departments were involved.

All health institutions and private health workers have been advised to postpone providing health tourism services to people from areas affected by the coronavirus. All people who have visited those areas, namely China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Iran and northern Italy, are asked not to attend public gatherings in the interest of public health, Beroš said.

He announced that EU health ministers were meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss the measures being implemented by member states and agree a strategy in countering the outbreak.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Third Case of Coronavirus Reported in Croatia

ZAGREB, February 27, 2020 - The Dr. Fran Mihaljević hospital for infectious diseases in Zagreb has confirmed a third case of novel coronavirus infection and the patient has been hospitalised in Rijeka, the national civil protection crisis team said on Wednesday afternoon.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

The patient is a man who works in Parma, Italy, a press release said.

Health Minister Vili Beroš said earlier in the day that so far 87 samples had been tested for the coronavirus and that another eight were being tested.

Media say that the second person to contract the coronavirus in Croatia is the brother of a young man who tested positive on Tuesday. The young man works with the Ericsson Nikola Tesla company in Zagreb. Last week he had been to Milan, Italy with his girlfriend to watch a Champions League match; she tested negative.

The Ministry of Science and Education on Wednesday issued recommendations on protective measures against coronavirus to all educational institutions, noting that classes should be held and the curricular reform proceed as planned.

Minister Blaženka Divjak said that the ministry was following the situation closely and that it would report on possible new circumstances and measures in a timely manner.

It is essential to delay until further notice all organised student excursions to affected areas as well as events such as sports competitions involving children from affected areas, she said.

The necessary hygienic measures, that is, general measures of protection according to recommendations by the Croatian Institute for Public Health (HZJZ) must be ensured in all schools.

Active health monitoring and self-isolation on the grounds of a border sanitary inspector's decision lasts for 14 days after leaving affected areas, that is, China, South Korea, and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

Active health monitoring of healthy children and students who arrive from affected areas and show no symptoms of the disease always consists of self-isolation.

Children and students who arrive from affected areas and show some of the respiratory disease symptoms should be treated as infected persons until infection is ruled out through microbiological diagnostics, which means that their hospitalisation is necessary.

Children and students who are undergoing active health monitoring in self-isolation do not attend classes in educational institutions for the duration of the measure.

Travel and events for students and children within Croatia are still possible, provided that children with respiratory symptoms do not take part, and outdoor activities are encouraged, says the ministry.

The ministry emphasises that the situation could change quickly with regard to the epidemiological situation, and that one should follow the HZJZ and Ministry of Health websites, where updates on coronavirus as well as preventive measures are published daily.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Despite Coronavirus Outbreak, No Reason to Panic

ZAGREB, February 26, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković asked citizens on Wednesday not to panic about coronavirus or buy lots of provisions because "at this moment everything is as it should be."

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

"Any panic, going on big shopping trips, stocking up, should stop. We are not in that kind of situation or at that stage at all. The government will be 100% transparent in real time as it's discovered that someone is positive or not, and we will inform the public. Everything we know, the public will know," Plenković told reporters.

Although the spread of coronavirus is a kind of external shock, a new circumstance whose effect on the economy no one can fully estimate, the government will do everything so that life goes on normally, he added.

"All services have raised their readiness," he said, adding that quarantine premises were also being provided. "Everything at this moment is as it should be. There's no need to raise excessive panic or do something out of the ordinary."

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said it was difficult to estimate how the epidemic would impact the Croatian economy due to a lack of key data.

He told reporters the government would do its utmost to reduce the potential impact as much as possible, adding that the impact on tourist arrivals from Italy and other European countries should be taken into consideration.

Marić did not rule out additional state budget allocations to cover the costs of fighting coronavirus.

Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak told reporters everything was under control in schools with regard to coronavirus and that the situation was normal. Recommendations to cancel trips to Italy and abide by hygiene standards in schools remain in force, she added.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

*Follow this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. Contact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Croatia Reports Second Coronavirus Case

ZAGREB, February 26, 2020 - A second case of coronavirus infection was confirmed in Croatia overnight. The person was in close contact with the person identified as the first case, and a third person who was in contact has initially tested negative, the head of the Fran Mihaljević hospital for infectious diseases, Alemka Markotić, said on Wednesday.

The persons infected are exhibiting mild symptoms, they receive the necessary medication and no complications are expected, Markotić told a press conference at the national civil protection headquarters.

"We have started to administer an antiviral drug that is otherwise used in HIV cases because it might be effective," she added.

Media say that the second person to contract the coronavirus in Croatia is the brother of the young man who tested positive on Tuesday. The young man works with the Ericsson Nikola Tesla company in Zagreb. Last week he had been to Milan, Italy with his girlfriend to watch a Champions League match; she tested negative.

A total of 72 people in Croatia have been tested for coronavirus so far.

Health Minister Vili Beroš said that at this point he was satisfied with the situation in the country. "We have two confirmed cases of infection, and all the others have tested negative so far."

"This is just the beginning, and we have sufficient medical supplies. I repeat, this disease doesn't pose a significant threat, it's like the common flu. More than 80 percent of the patients have mild symptoms," the minister said.

He called on the public to follow instructions from medical authorities.

State-owned power provider HEP confirmed on Wednesday that the second person diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Croatia is their employee. "We can confirm that one of the persons confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus is our employee posted at HEP Group headquarters in Zagreb. He was not at work yesterday, and about 15 employees assumed to have been in close contact with him have been notified today not to come to work or have been sent home," HEP said in response to a query from Hina.

The company said that the necessary measures had been taken at the headquarters to protect the safety and health of the employees and visitors in line with instructions from the national coronavirus crisis management team.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Red Noses Have Visited over 164,000 Hospitalised Kids and Elderly Citizens

ZAGREB, February 25, 2020 - The association of Red Noses, which was established in Croatia ten years ago, has to date visited more than 164,000 young and elderly patients in an attempt to alleviate their hospitalisation through laughter.

On the occasion of their 10th anniversary, activists of the Croatian branch of Red Noses, a global movement with a clear focus on encouraging more joy and happiness in the world, held a news conference at the University Hospital Centre Zagreb where they began their mission of hospital clowning ten years ago.

Hospital clowning is a program in health care facilities involving visits from specially trained clowns.

Zoran Vukić, a representative of the association, said that they visited, on a regularly basis, 14 children's hospitals in Zagreb, Osijek, Vinkovci, Vukovar, Rijeka, Zadar and Split, as well as five homes for elderly citizens in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek.

At the beginning, there were only four clowns in this association and currently their number has risen to 24.

More health news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Croatia to Take Any Measure Necessary to Prevent Spreading of Coronavirus

ZAGREB, February 25, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday that Croatia was prepared to take any measure necessary to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus, including coordination of activities with the Italian government.

"I held consultations earlier in the evening with my colleagues at a meeting of the crisis team, which was also attended by representatives of the ministries of health, the interior and defence, the State Inspectorate and the Civil Protection. All the relevant services are fully prepared, we are in touch with the Italian government and are trying to obtain from it all relevant information, considering the dynamic of developments in several regions of northern Italy," Plenković said on the margins of an event marking the 30th anniversary of his HDZ party's branch in Novi Zagreb.

Plenković said that the crisis team in charge of preventing the spreading of the coronavirus would meet on a daily basis and that Health Minister Vili Beroš would travel to Italy on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the health ministers of Italy and neighbouring countries, focusing on the coordination of activities.

He added that a national Civil Protection emergency team, set up by the government last week, would meet on Tuesday.

More news about coronavirus can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Passengers Arriving in Croatia from Italy Undergo Epidemiological Checks

ZAGREB, February 24, 2020 - Croatia's COVID-19 crisis management team will apply strict epidemiological measures to passengers coming from northern Italian regions where a rising number of patients have been diagnosed with this infectious disease in recent days.

The same controls will be in place for passengers arriving from Italy and China, the head of the team, Maja Grba Bujević, told reporters in Zagreb on Monday morning.

The health ministry's crisis management team, which was set up to handle developments surrounding the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the world, is due to hold a news conference at 1pm Monday.

Grba Bujević said that the authorities had decided to take all the necessary measures to be prepared for the detection of possible first patients infected with this virus, after the north of Italy started fighting with Europe's biggest outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

In the meantime, 42 students and four teachers from a secondary school in the northern Adriatic city of Pula, who returned from a trip to Venice on Sunday night, will be quarantined in their homes for the next 14 days.

The Croatian education ministry instructed primary and secondary schools to cancel any organised educational trips to Italy in the next 30 days.

Italy sealed off the worst-affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases.

European Union health commissioner Stella Kyriakides was quoted by Reuters as saying that possible travel restrictions in the Schengen border-free area should be proportionate and coordinated among EU states, as the bloc faces a coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

“For the moment WHO has not advised imposing restrictions on either travel or trade,” Kyriakides told reporters on Monday, adding that a World Health Organization mission will travel to Italy on Tuesday to assess the situation.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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