Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Rovinj Orthopaedic Hospital Resumes Work

ZAGREB, April 28, 2020 - The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital in the Croatian coastal town of Rovinj resumed working on Monday, with enhanced protective measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus being in place.

"Rovinj Hospital is opening its doors and for now the rehabilitation centres will be opened. In cooperation with the Istria County Public Health Institute, we tested all our patients prior to their admission and confirmed that they were negative to the virus," the hospital's director, Dr. Marinko Rade told Hina.

The hospital will strictly restrict movement within the hospital and create an exceptionally safe premises for patients and medical staff alike, he underscored.

"We've prepared high preventative standards that everyone has to respect while the Children's Clinic is being opened under a special regime because children have to be our priority at this moment," Rade added.

Anyone who enters the hospital will have to undergo an epidemiological triage and contactless temperature taking. Security will be at a maximum. We are practically working so that the hospital will be the safest place to be in the city, he underlined.

Rade recalled that the Rovinj Hospital "was and remained coronafree," and that fact has made it possible to reopen its doors in such a short time.

The hospital suspended its activities on 28 March due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 17 April 2020

President Supports Initiative to Reactivate Institute of Immunology

ZAGREB, April 17, 2020 - President Zoran Milanović supports the initiative to reactivate the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb in its full capacity, saying that it would enable the development of sustainable production and scientific and research infrastructure, scientist Marina Pavković said on Thursday.

"I support the initiative the realisation of which would enable the development of sustainable production and scientific and research infrastructure in all sectors," Milanović said in a letter, adding that the Institute could be a guarantor of public health safety and care.

He expressed hope that he would be able to contribute to the realisation of the initiative.

Pavković has earlier sent letters to Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković calling for the reactivation of the Institute of Immunology.

More medicine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Shortages of Two Drugs on Croatian Market due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is causing issues left right and centre when it comes to health and the economy, which has had to be all but paused, and problems are being experienced in the field of drug availability, too, as exports continue to be affected.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of April, 2020, the Croatian drug market is far from immune from the coronavirus epidemic, and there has been a shortage of two medicines containing paracetamol and one other drug containing lopinavir/ritonavir for the treatment of HIV reported, according to a report from Vecernji list.

According to the Croatian Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, HALMED, these shortages of these particular medicines are not currently considered critical in the Republic of Croatia, since other medicines with the same active substances continue to remain available on the Croatian market. This shortage is due to a restriction on exports from India and the active substances of medicines wholly imported from China.

''In line with the evolution of the [coronavirus] epidemiological situation, HALMED is continuously collecting data and conducting analyses of the impact of the pandemic and epidemic spread of COVID-19 on the supply of drugs to the Croatian market.

We would also like to mention that we are in constant contact with the regulatory authorities of other EU member states and the marketing authorisation holders whose medicinal products are placed on the market of the Republic of Croatia in order, if necessary, to take the measures needed to ensure the adequate supply of the Croatian market,'' HALMED stated.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling information and updates on coronavirus in Croatia.

Friday, 20 March 2020

HUBOL: There is Disparity Between Hospitals, Concerns About Equipment

ZAGREB, March 20, 2020 - The Croatian Association of Hospital Physicians (HUBOL) on Friday said that healthcare facilities were unevenly prepared for the coronavirus epidemic, while reports and inquiries from their members indicate that there is a lack of protective and other equipment in hospitals.

HUBOL reiterated that Health Minister Vili Beroš had declared an epidemic, mobilised hospital staff and banned them from going on holiday. These were the first mandatory measures, while most of the previous measures by the national civil protection team had been on the level of recommendations.

Reports and inquiries by HUBOL's members indicate they fear there is a lack of personal protective and other equipment, which puts healthcare workers, patients and the entire healthcare system at risk.

"A great deal of disparity has been noticed between health institutions, regarding the preparations to brace for the epidemic, as well as a lack of local protocols, while some health services made their own protocols based on recommendations by the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), all thanks to extraordinary effort and enthusiasm of individuals."

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.

Monday, 2 March 2020

150 Million Kuna Loan Guarantee Signed for Pula Hospital

ZAGREB, March 2, 2020 - A 150 million kuna loan guarantee agreement was signed on Monday to help the Pula General Hospital, the largest health institution in Istria, to settle its long-term obligations.

The signing ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković during a day-long visit to Istria County.

At its session held last November, the government pledged an additional HRK 150 million to support the construction and equipping of the new hospital in Pula. The state guarantee secured a loan for that purpose from Erste & Steiermärkische Bank.

HRK 600 million was previously secured through two loans for the new construction of the new hospital in Pula. A co-funding loan agreement was signed in July 2011 by the government, Istria County and the Pula General Hospital, under which the central government was to cover 75% of annuities and the county government the remaining 25% throughout the repayment period.

Because of the changes that had occurred during the construction, notably to improve project solutions by applying state-of-the-art technologies in medicine, it was necessary to ensure an additional HRK 150 million.

"The additional funding does not mean the investment has increased in relation to the plan. Under the 2011 agreement, the planned cost of the entire project with construction and equipment was HRK 800 million, and we will reach HRK 750 million," Pula General Hospital director Irena Hrstić told Hina.

More Pula news can he found in the Lifestyle section.

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.

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