Friday, 30 July 2021

COVID-19 Response Team: Share of Infections with Delta Coronavirus Variant Rising

ZAGREB, 30 July 2021- The results of the latest sequencing of samples sent on 20 July show that 13% of the samples were infected with the Alpha coronavirus variant while 84% were infected with the Delta variant, meaning that the share of the new variant in Croatia has continued to grow, the COVID-19 response team has said.

Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Friday that according to the latest map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Croatia remained in the orange zone, recording the smallest daily increase in infections in relation to its competition.

"That fact strengthens our status as the safest tourist destination. That gives us reason for satisfaction, but we must remain cautious," he said.

There are over one million tourists in Croatia, which carries an increased risk of disease transmission, the minister said, calling for compliance with restrictions and for vaccination.

He again called on elderly citizens to get vaccinated, noting that mobile teams had been formed to visit elderly people at home and remind them of the importance of getting vaccinated.

Asked if vaccination would be made obligatory for some sectors, Beroš said that that was not likely at the moment and that what prevailed was the proposal for the smart use of COVID-19 certificates to enable work also for people who had not been vaccinated.

Claim for damages over infection, death during hospital treatment

The minister said that for the time being there were no lawsuits against medical institutions over infection with COVID-19 during hospital treatment but he confirmed that a claim for damages had been filed against the KBC Zagreb hospital by a family who believed that their member had died in hospital infected with COVID-19.

KBC Zagreb officials have said that COVID-19 restrictions and professional rules are complied with at the hospital.

"As for whether lawsuits can be expected, probably yes. I can only repeat that since the start of the pandemic we have acted in line with recommendations by the public health institute for safe work in hospitals," the minister said.

Official: Vaccinated people can transmit infection, should wear masks until vaccination rate is high 

Reporters asked the head of Zagreb's "Dr. Fran Mihaljević" hospital for infectious diseases, Alemka Markotić, to explain research showing that people who have been vaccinated can spread infection with the Delta coronavirus variant equally fast as people who have not been immunised.

She said that this was not unusual as a person who had been vaccinated was protecting themselves but could carry the virus, which was why experts remained cautious and were not saying that those who had been vaccinated should no longer wear masks.

Public Health Institute (HZJZ) head Krunoslav Capak said that epidemiological rules for the 5 August commemoration of Operation Storm had still not been defined and that they would be known on Monday, and as for the Alka tournament in Sinj, he said that a proposal had been made for participants to have COVID-19 certificates and for the number of attendees to be half the envisaged seating capacity.

The COVID-19 response team will hold its next news conference in three weeks' time, on the condition there are no extraordinary situations.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Delta Variant in Croatia Makes Up 43% of Cases, Capak Warns of New Wave

July 1, 2021 - The Delta Variant in Croatia currently makes up 43% of cases, said HZJZ head Krunoslav Capak, who warned of a new wave and stricter measures in autumn. 

The goal of vaccinating 50 percent of adults with the first dose by July 1 has not been achieved, reports

"We set ourselves that goal of 55 percent of the population given the vaccines because we calculated how many vaccines we would get, and by that, we would vaccinate. However, interest has dropped, vaccination has slowed. Many people calculate that they do not want to be vaccinated now, but that they will be vaccinated later when they see the situation, which is bad because we cannot have this tourist season if we do not get vaccinated anymore," HZJZ head Krunoslav Capak told Nova TV and added that a new wave would come to us in the fall, and maybe even sooner because we have the Indian strain, which is present in Croatia with 43 percent% of cases since the last sequencing.

He announced stricter measures in the autumn.

"Certainly, there will be more restrictive measures if our numbers start to grow because, given that we have not been vaccinated enough, there is no other way to protect the health of citizens than to introduce stricter measures," Capak said.

Asked how he would encourage people to get vaccinated, Capak said:

"It's a difficult question. We counted on the common sense of our citizens. We thought - enough vaccines have been procured. We have communicated that 70-80 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to solve this problem we have, which has stopped the global economy which stopped living in the world. The only way to get rid of it is to get vaccinated. We counted on it. However, we obviously miscalculated. Vaccination has slowed down, but I am still counting on being able to reach that level with the measures that we are introducing."

He also commented on problems with Covid certificates. Capak says that there were technical problems due to which some could not get a confirmation immediately, but these problems are continuously solved.

Capak also referred to trips abroad. He says there are no restrictions on Croats traveling across Europe. "We are green at the moment, except for two or three areas that have a high incidence problem," he said, adding that there are no restrictions on EU guests coming to Croatia, but they should have Covid certificates.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.