Saturday, 2 October 2021

Overweight Croatian Children: Every Third Child Eats Too Much

October 2, 2021 - With every third child having a weight problem, the study finds that the sheer amount of overweight Croatian children is a legitimate concern.

The Dalmatian meat specialty of Pašticada, Zagorje's Štrukli, spicy Slavonian sausages called Kulen... the list goes on and these are just some of the delicious foods Croats traditionally eat. But even outside of tradition, there are loads of contemporary food restaurants, foreign food options (Chinese, Mexican, Arab, Greek and more), not to mention many fast-food chains and even more bakeries. Basically, there's no need to worry about starving in Croatia. And that may also turn into a problem.

As Srednja.hr writes, every third child in Croatia is overweight, meaning there is now a serious concern about overweight Croatian children which needs to be tackled.

This fact was discovered during the ''European Initiative for monitoring childhood obesity in Croatia 2018/2019'' (CroCOSI), conducted by the European Office of the World Health Organisation. It's interesting to note that the research leader for Croatia was none other than Sanja Musić Milanović, the wife of the current Croatian president, Zoran Milanović.

The results of the research were presented last week at the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ). ''Around 35% of Croatian children aged 8 to 9 are overweight, and only 14% of parents are aware of that,'' writes Srednja.hr.

Looking at different regions, the lowest amount of overweight Croatian children can be found in Zagreb (29.7%). While continental Croatia has a higher percentage (36.0%), the Adriatic region holds a record-breaking number, reaching almost 37%.

Gender-wise, Croatian boys have more weight issues than girls do (17.8% / 11.9%).

While this isn't too much of a drastic rise when compared to the research from 2015/2016 (the total percentage was 34.9%), being overweight remains a big problem for Croatia which can lead to serious health risks sooner or later. These issues go deeper than personal health but also result in more pressure being placed on an already burdened healthcare system.

What's interesting, is that this weight problem is more of an issue in rural areas than it is in urban ones, even though you'd think it should be the other way around as rural areas are more in touch with nature and offer more possibilities for recreation. However, urban areas, as a study suggests, have better prevention programmes which advocate for healthy habits and lifestyles.

Additionally, the fact that only 14% of parents are aware that their child has a weight problem also shows problems in understanding of what a good diet actually is among Croats.

''The Health Ministry has recognised the weight issue as a priority area and has started with preparations for making a prevention plan for it. I believe that with the implementation of this action plan, we'll contribute in stopping this negative trend rising on a national level in the years to come,'' commented Health Minister Vili Beroš.

The problem of overweight children and fat-shaming has recently been recognised among Croatian pupils. As TCN wrote, pupils in schools are no longer measured publicly but privately. However, the combat against unhealthy habits among Croatian children for a healthier, more knowledgeable generation is still underway.

Learn more about Croatian food in our TC guide.

 For more about health in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Pavić Šimetin Says New Epidemiological Restrictions Considered

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - Croatian Public Health Institute deputy director Ivana Pavić Šimetin said on Wednesday that an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases could be stopped and slowed down with vaccination and adherence to epidemiological measures.

Pavić Šimetin told Croatian Television that new epidemiological measures were being considered, including the possibility to shorten business hours.

She said authorities expected a lot from the digital COVID-19 certificate, adding that wearing a mask in school would be mandatory form from grades five and up.

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

 

Monday, 10 May 2021

Public Health Official Says Trial Events Discussed, Good Results Expected

ZAGREB, 10 May 2021 - Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) head Krunoslav Capak said on Monday that intensive talks were underway on trial, controlled events with more participants to take place this week, expressing confidence those pilot projects would go well and there would be no new infections.

"This will be a test, a project in which we will bring together two different populations of people in two places," Capak said at a news conference held as part of the "Healthy living" project.

One of the events will have 80 participants and the other 120. The participants will be people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, people who have a certificate proving that they have recovered from the disease, or people who will be tested for coronavirus right before the event. After seven days, PCR tests will be done to see if there has been any spreading of the disease.

"We don't expect it, similar activities have been implemented elsewhere in the world. Some did PCR testing after such events and obtained good results, there were no new infections. We hope everything goes well and that we will enter June in a more relaxed atmosphere," said Capak.

Close to 900,000 people vaccinated with at least one dose

Capak said that close to 900,000 people in Croatia had been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and that 7.5% of them had received both doses.

A total of 1.1 million doses have been administered.

"By the end of June, we expect to use all the vaccines that will arrive and more than 55% of the adult population is likely to be vaccinated by then. That will make it possible for us to enter the summer more calmly and to have a successful tourist season," Capak said.

For all you need to know about coronavirus in Croatia, including border, travel 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 and choose your preferred language.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Reporters One of Priority Groups for Vaccination

ZAGREB, 13 April, 2021 - The Culture and Media Ministry has suggested including reporters and media workers in priority groups for vaccination against COVID-19 due to the risk of infection being higher than for the rest of the population, the Croatian Journalists Association (HND) said on Tuesday.

According to a notification from the ministry, reporters can express interest in being put on the list of priority vaccinations.

The HND will be collecting data from interested reporters until midnight 14 April, the association said, noting that expression of interest will in no way affect interest in vaccination expressed previously with one's family doctor or via the cijepise.zdravlje.hr platform. Previous registration for vaccination should not be cancelled until the moment an invitation to vaccination arrives from the Croatian Public Health Institute, the HND said.

For more about vaccination in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

New Coronavirus Restrictions to be in Force Until 15 April

ZAGREB, 31 March, 2021 - The national coronavirus crisis management team on Wednesday announced new epidemiological restrictions to be in force until 15 April, including a ban on indoor training, restrictions on the work of children playrooms and a temporary ban and restriction of cross-border travel.

The ban on indoor training does not apply to top competitions and athletes.

Certificates of vaccination with Russian, Chinese vaccines valid

Croatian border authorities will accept fast antigen tests as well as certificates about vaccination with the Russian and Chinese vaccines, and certificates proving their holders' recovery from COVID-19 and those certificates will be considered valid for 180 days, the team's head, Davor Božinović, said.

Border crossing has been regulated due to tourist visits, the exception being digital nomads and children.

"Considering restrictions in neighbouring countries, we do not expect a large number of arrivals," said Božinović.

He noted that the tighter restrictions were being introduced following a proposal to that effect by county COVID-19 response teams.

Apart from nationwide restrictions, the national team also made decisions on restrictions for Šibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia counties.

In Split-Dalmatia County, which has seen a big increase in new infections, the mandatory wearing of face masks at outdoor venues with an increased flow of people will be introduced, as will a ban on the sale of alcohol from 8pm to 6am. The work of cafes will be restricted until 8pm, and it will be possible to serve food and drinks only in the open. Foreign language schools will switch to online classes again.

Božinović said that restrictions could be additionally tightened since the epidemiological situation was not good.

Restrictions to be tightened if number of infections continues to grow

"We have a significant increase today and we cannot ignore the possibility of the scenario in neighbouring countries happening here as well. These restrictions will be in force for a few days but should statistics be worrying, we will introduce new measures," said Božinović.

The latest restrictions go into force on Thursday and will be in force until 15 April.

In the last 24 hours, 2,623 new coronavirus cases and 19 COVID-related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national coronavirus response team said earlier in the day.

The number of active cases now stands at 11,306. Among them are 1,337 people receiving hospital treatment, of whom 144 are placed on ventilators.

Croatian Public Health Institute head Krunoslav Capak warned that today the number of new infections was 47% higher than last week.

Istria County has the lowest incidence, while Primorje-Gorski Kotar County has the highest. Croatia is currently 18th in the EU in terms of the number of deaths per one million inhabitants, while in terms of the 14-day incidence it is 12th.

Speaking about the start of the third phase of vaccination, Capak said that care would be taken of the order in which people had registered for vaccination at the cijepi.se online platform.

"All people older than 16 can be inoculated in the third phase, but a certain priority will be given to people in services in which they come into contact with a large number of people," he said, adding that the third phase could start in May.

He noted that cases of infection with coronavirus after vaccination had been reported. "We have about 20 such cases. Forty-four people in aged care homes got infected after receiving the first dose and 22 got infected after the second dose, but the symptoms were mild."

Commenting on an announcement by the Zagreb COVID-19 response team about the wearing of face masks outdoors, Capak said: "If you are outdoors and alone, there is no need to wear a mask."

"Outdoor mask wearing refers to places where there are a lot of people, in the farmers' market, on the waterfront," he said, noting that the recommendation to wear a mask outdoors had been in force so far for places where physical distancing was not possible.

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

Friday, 12 March 2021

Most Epidemiological Restrictions Extended Until End of March

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatia has a 26% weekly increase in the number of new coronavirus infections and most epidemiological restrictions will be extended until the end of March but outdoor sports competitions will be allowed, the national COVID-19 response team said on Friday.

Most existing epidemiological restrictions will remain in force.

One of the changes is that it will be possible to change the maximum allowed number of attendees at cultural events through recommendations by the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ), without waiting for a decision by the national COVID-19 response team, and outdoor sports competitions will be allowed as well, the team's head, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, said.

Restrictions regarding gatherings, passenger transport, shops' working hours and border crossing will be extended until 31 March and a decision on that will take effect on 13 March, said Božinović.

As for decisions at the local level, restrictions will be extended in Dubrovnik-Neretva County while COVID-19 response teams in counties with a marked increase in the number of new infections will be expected to propose restrictions in line with the local situation.

Share of positive tests 13.8%; Inoculation with AstraZeneca vaccine continues

Croatia today reported 823 new infections of 5,945 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, the percentage of positive tests being 13.8%. The average age of those who have died is 77.5 years and the youngest person was 62, Assistant Health Minister Vera Katalinić-Janković said.

HZJZ head Krunoslav Capak warned that the number of new infections this week was 26% higher than last week.

"Istria County has the lowest incidence, and Dubrovnik-Neretva County the highest. As for the seven-day incidence, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County is at the top, however, epidemiologists say that there are no major hot spots there but rather a lot of small hot spots due to socialising," said Capak.

He also pointed to an increase in the share of positive cases in the number of tests done, which today was 13.8%.

Commenting on reported side effects of the vaccines, he said most reports referred to the Pfizer vaccine, 898, followed by AstraZeneca's vaccine, 337, and Moderna's, 81.

Despite the fact that in some EU countries inoculation with AstraZeneca's vaccine has been suspended, Croatia will continue using the vaccine.

Capak said that the AstraZeneca vaccine Croatia obtained was not from the same series as that obtained by Austria and 15 other EU countries. Countries that have discontinued inoculation with that vaccine have done so until the reported side effects are investigated, he said.

"If it is established that the thromboembolisms reported are not related to the vaccine, countries that have suspended vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue the vaccination process. Croatia did not receive that vaccine series... and will continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine," he said.

He also commented on an announcement that the deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be much smaller than agreed.

"We were to receive 19,200 doses in the third week of March and will receive 7,200. In the fourth week of March, we were to receive 79,568 doses and will receive 9,800," he said.

As for the vaccine of the US company Johnson & Johnson, Capak said that the vaccine will soon be registered in the EU but could not tell how many doses Croatia would obtain considering reports that the US government would first supply the US market with the agreed quantities and then start exports to other countries.

Asked about alternative vaccine imports, Capak said that the documentation requested from the Russian producer had still not arrived, which was a precondition to launch emergency imports.

Meanwhile, the Russian manufacturer has launched the process of registration of the vaccine with the European Medicines Agency and Capak said he believed the process would soon be completed and that Croatia would be able to import the vaccine normally.

As for the Chinese vaccine, not much information is known but the HZJZ today held an online meeting with its producers, Capak said, adding that he would inform the public of the meeting on Monday.

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

Friday, 12 March 2021

25% of Respondents in Croatia Tested Positive For COVID-19 Antibodies

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatian Public Health Institute director Krunoslav Capak on Friday presented the results of a serological study showing that 25% of 1,436 respondents had tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, meaning that they had been in contact with the coronavirus.

A similar study carried out last spring revealed that only 2.2% of 1,088 respondents were positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

"In the first study, 24 out of 1,088 respondents tested positive for immunoglobulin antibodies, which is 2.2%. In the second study, 360 out of 1,436 respondents were positive for immunoglobulins, which is 25.1%," Capak said at a press conference of the national COVID-19 response team.

"It should be noted that the blood samples were taken in late December, in January and an in early February. No major impact of the vaccination could be seen because only a small number of people were vaccinated at the time. The first study covered a smaller number of counties where we took the blood samples, while the second study covered all the counties," he added.

Antibodies were evenly present in all age groups. Their presence was lower in people aged over 70 years and in children aged under 10, whose proportion of positive cases in the study was 19.2%.

The study also showed that 75% of the persons positive for immunoglobulins were immune to COVID-19.

Capak said that this sample was representative and showed that 25% of people had been in contact with the coronavirus.

"There are 240,000 people in Croatia who have been infected with the coronavirus to date, while four times as many have come into contact with the virus, which is a million people," Capak said.

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

Friday, 5 February 2021

Croatian Public Health Institute Reveals AstraZeneca Vaccination Plan in Croatia

February 5, 2021 - The Croatian Public Health Institute has revealed the details of the AstraZeneca vaccination plan in Croatia. The first vaccinations will begin next week. 

The Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) has announced that the third vaccine against COVID-19 will be available in Croatia next week. It is a vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca/Oxford, and 150,000 doses of this vaccine should arrive in Croatia in February.

AstraZeneca is intended for people over 18 years of age. Two doses of this vaccine are needed, and the second dose should be given between 8 and 12 weeks after the first dose.

“In clinical studies taken into consideration by the European Medicines Agency, vaccine efficacy is about 60% in disease prevention defined by the presence of at least one of the symptoms of the disease with laboratory confirmation of infection.

The estimated efficacy of this vaccine in the elderly is equal to that in younger adults. Still, in the data taken into account by the European Medicines Agency, it did not prove statistically significant, primarily due to the small number of respondents in older age groups," says HZJZ.

HZJZ also explains that the side effects caused by this vaccine are not unexpected and unusual, and "the only real contraindication for use is hypersensitivity to the components of the vaccine."

According to the HZJZ, there is no maximum age limit for the use of this vaccine.

"Based on the available data on clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines registered in Croatia by a centralized procedure (via the European Medicines Agency), there is no reason to make a recommendation for vaccination that would differ from the indications approved by the European Medicines Agency, i.e., the minimum age limit for the use of this vaccine is 18 years. There is no maximum age limit."

Based on additional information about AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which indicates that:

- it has been shown that a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine protects about 70% for three weeks after administration and that this protection does not weaken within 12 weeks,
- according to the Summary of Product Characteristics, the recommended interval between the first and second dose is 4 to 12 weeks,
- the final result, i.e., the efficacy after the second dose, is higher when the interval between the first and second doses is greater,

we recommend that the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine be given 8-12 weeks after the first dose," concluded HZJZ.

Illustration by Little Shiva

Source: Index.hr

To read more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 21 December 2020

Capak: First Batch of Pfizer Vaccine to Consist of 9,750 Doses

ZAGREB, Dec 21, 2020 - The first batch of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to Croatia on December 26, and the 9,750 doses will be distributed among the counties taking into account the size of their population, Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) director Krunoslav Capak said on Monday.

"A total of 9,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be sent to Croatia on December 26. We will try to vaccinate as many people as possible with this symbolic dose," Capak told a press conference of the national COVID-19 response team.

This symbolic first batch will not be enough to vaccinate the whole first priority group of people in Croatia. "The vaccine will primarily be administered to care home residents, some of the emergency medical workers and some of the health workers in COVID centres," Capak said.

Capak noted that Pfizer had pledged to deliver additional supplies on December 31 which would be used to vaccinate the whole first priority group. He said that discussions were under way on the vaccination of the second priority group, including people suffering from chronic diseases and those older than 65 years.

Capak pointed out that 27% fewer new coronavirus infections had been recorded in the week from December 15 to 21 than in the previous week.

Croatia has the third highest 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate and the ninth highest mortality rate in the European Union.

Friday, 18 December 2020

First Small Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine to be Delivered on Dec 26 to Croatia

ZAGREB, Dec 18, 2020 - Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) director Krunoslav Capak said on Friday that Pfizer would dispatch the COVID vaccine to EU member states on December 26 and that Croatia was among the countries that would receive this symbolic quantity.

He added, however, that it was still unknown when Croatia would get the rest of the million doses it ordered.

Capak said the delivery was being discussed with Pfizer at EU level and that the company promised that the tranche for the last quarter of 2020 would be dispatched by the end of January.

We assume will know the quantity by the end of next week, he added.

7 m2 per person in churches on Dec 24, 25

Mass services with more than 25 people will be allowed on December 24 and 25, provided that each person has seven square metres at their disposal, which will ensure a 2.6-metre-distance between them,

Speaking at a press conference of the national COVID-19 response team, he said that before and after those two days the ban on more than 25 people gathering indoors and outdoors would remain in force.

The HZJZ will appeal to the Church and the clergy to make sure that believers comply with the restrictions. Outside churches, a maximum 25 people will be allowed to gather and the recommendation is that all services on Christmas Eve end by 10 p.m.

Asked why bars and restaurants were not allowed to work under the 7 m2 criterion per customer, Capak said the answer was "impossible."

"We keep telling you that, with the measures, we are trying to ban contacts, but without banning the activities which are necessary for economic, psychological, social and other reasons. This measure is tied to respecting believers' wishes and needs for spiritual peace and the need to celebrate this holiday."

Small quantity of COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered on Dec 26Infections have dropped 20% in one week

In the week of December 14-18, Croatia recorded 20% fewer infections than the week before, "for the first time in weeks," but it will take more time for this mild downward trends to be reflected in "the number of hospitalisations, persons on ventilators and deaths," said Capak.

Compared with other EU countries, Croatia continues to have one of the highest incidence rates, ranking third on December 17, after Luxembourg and Lithuania.

Health minister on travel restrictions, bonus for working with COVID patients

Health Minister Vili Beros said travel within the country was being restricted ahead of the upcoming holidays because of asymptomatic patients.

He also responded to complaints from medical staff that this month they did not get the promised salary bonus for working with COVID patients, saying they would get it with the salary for December.

He said some hospitals had calculated the salaries for November before receiving the notification on how to calculate the bonus. "Not one health worker who works with COVID patients will be left without their bonus."

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