Thursday, 19 August 2021

Zagreb Infectious Diseases Clinic Expands Coronavirus Department

August the 19th, 2021 - The Zagreb Infectious Diseases Clinic, known simply as ''Zarazna'' has expanded its coronavirus department as more patients require medical help. A warning to other hospitals has come with it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Zagreb Infectious Diseases Hospital has appealed to other Zagreb hospitals not to send other patients to them because they have more and more COVID-19 positive patients needing car, which is why they have increased the capacity of their COVID department, Vecernji list reported.

''Due to the increased influx of adult COVID-19 positive patients and the opening of additional facilities for the care of COVID-19 positive patients, we ask that until further notice, COVID-19 negative patients, who don't require intensive treatment, be referred and cared for in other healthcare institutions,'' read the request in a letter sent out to other Zagreb hospitals by the deputy director of the Zagreb Infectious Diseases Clinic, Zoran Barusic.

The letter also notes that the clinic will receive patients who are negative for COVID-19 whose condition requires intensive treatment depending on available accommodation at any given time and in the case that infectologists from the clinic are still available for possible consultations.

There are currently 33 COVID-19 patients and 44 non-COVID-19 patients being treated for their illnesses at the clinic.

Barusic explained that more COVID-19 patients started arriving on August the 12th and that they had to increase their ward capacities, stretching over to the non-COVID ward as well. He added that the COVID-19 sufferers they are treating are mostly unvaccinated, and among them there are seriously ill people in their thirties, forties and fifties. A smaller proportion of patients are those who are vaccinated but are elderly with comorbidities.

In the last three weeks, the number of hospitalised patients needing treatment at KBC Split has been continuously growing. At the moment, there are more than 40 of them, and thirteen requiring respirators, Vecernji list has learned from Ivo Ivic, the head of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases at KBC Split, where all those hospitalised are unvaccinated.

"On average, a dozen patients are hospitalised every week, they're mostly residents of Croatia. There are some younger people, but most of them are older patients, so we can say that the epidemic is circulating among the younger people, and the older ones the ones being taken into hospital,'' said Ivic.

“Of the ten people needing a respirator, nine were not vaccinated and without comorbidities, and one was vaccinated and had severe comorbidities. Therefore, it's scientifically and statistically clear that vaccination is the only reasonable thing we can do to protect ourselves,'' pointed out one doctor.

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.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Zagreb to be Included in Producing DNA Templates

ZAGREB, 14 May, 2021 - The head of the Zagreb-based Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Alemka Markotić,  said on Friday that the European Commission would in future be authorised for the purchase and distribution of the Pfizer vaccine and that Zagreb would be one of the centres included in producing DNA templates.

That means that only mRNA vaccines will be used in the EU, not because the AstraZeneca vaccine is not of a good quality but to ensure secure production and the possibility of responding quickly to new variants of the virus given that a vaccine can be produced within 100 days, said Markotić.

In addition to a high level of antibodies that remain for about six months, it is worthwhile developing cell immunity, which need not be the case with certain vaccines, she said.

"In 2022 and 2023, Zagreb will be one of the centres that will be included in the phase of producing DNA templates, which is important for Croatia's tradition and for Zagreb regarding the production of vaccines," she underscored.

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

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

US Embassy Donates GeneXpert Machine to Zagreb's Infectious Diseases Hospital

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - The US Embassy in Croatia has donated a medical device to the Fran Mihaljević Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb that can detect the coronavirus in less than 45 minutes, the hospital's director Alemka Markotić said on Tuesday.

Four samples can be placed in the GeneXpert machine at the same time. However, it is not used for mass testing, but is useful in quickly dealing with certain situations, Markotić said.

US Embassy official Victoria Taylor said that this is not about just a piece of equipment, but also about the partnership between Croatia and the United States.

We are happy that our small contribution can help the Fran Mihaljević Hospital and the healthcare system in time of need, Taylor said, commending all Croatian health workers for their tireless work during the pandemic.

Markotić said that most of the patients in the hospital's COVID ward were between 50 and 65 years old and had underlying conditions. She noted that the hospital was nearly filled to capacity.

Markotić said that for now there was no substantial number of young people infected with the British variant of the coronavirus in the hospital, but noted that this variant was proved to be spreading faster among young people because of "their greater nonchalance, mobility and socialising."

She warned that the number of new cases was growing and called on the citizens to avoid "risky situations".

Markotić expressed hope that patients would not be left without medicines, after wholesale drug suppliers warned last week that they might restrict drug deliveries because of HRK 6.5 billion debt owed by the hospitals.

Drug wholesaler Medika said today it had suspended drug deliveries to the hospitals.

Markotić said that her hospital had sufficient drug supplies for now. "We hope that we will not find ourselves in a situation where we, or rather our patients, will be left without medicines."

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said earlier that Finance Minister Zdravko Marić and Health Minister Vili Beroš would meet with drug wholesalers to discuss the debt and that they would be paid a certain amount of money in the coming days.

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


Friday, 20 November 2020

Contracts on EU Funds Worth HRK 73 mn Presented to Health Ministry, Zagreb Hospital

ZAGREB, November 20, 2020 - Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Natasa Tramisak on Friday presented contracts on EU funds worth HRK 73 million for new healthcare projects to Zagreb's Dr Fran Mihaljevic Hospital for Infectious Diseases and the Health Ministry.

"The coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness of the need to invest more in the health system, in Croatia and the EU alike. We are therefore using all available money from European structural and investment funds," Tramisak said at the contract-awarding ceremony.

She said the contracts would help the hospital continue boosting its capacity and procuring new equipment as well as the Health Ministry buy the necessary equipment, such as a linear accelerator for the KBC Rebro hospital.

Tramisak said projects worth more than 3 billion kuna had been agreed for the health system, with 2.7 billion being grants.

The latest contracts are valued at more than HRK 73 million, and almost 100% of the contract value are grants.

The minister said that apart from a HRK 369 million contract signed last week for the procurement of protective equipment, her ministry had asked the EU Solidarity Fund for an additional €39 million if the procurement of additional equipment should prove to be necessary.

The contract for the Health Ministry is worth HRK 23.7 million and will be entirely financed with EU funds.

The contract for the Dr Fran Mihaljevic hospital is worth HRK 50 million, and EU grants amount to HRK 49.6 million. The funding will help adapt part of the hospital infrastructure and almost half of the funds will be used to buy valuable diagnostic equipment, the hospital's director, Alemka Markotic, said.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Fran Mihaljevic Clinic Press Conference: 5 People in Isolation

As we reported earlier today, the first case of coronavirus in Croatia has been confirmed. The individual in question is a younger man who holds Croatian citizenship and is currently in isolation at the Fran Mihaljevic Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb.

The hospitalised man is said to have contracted a milder form of the illness and is in good condition.

Owing to the turn of events, the Fran Mihaljevic Clinic in Zagreb convened a press conference at 16:00 today.

As Index writes on the 25th of February, 2020, the director of the Fran Mihaljevic Clinic said there have been no new confirmed cases of infection in Croatia other than the man in question. "As far as our hospital is concerned, this is a dynamic process, so we're making extra room just in case," she said.

As for the hospitalised young man, she says there is no new information. "Isolation means that the person inside is isolated alone, he has his own toilet, he is receiving treatment and food, the only thing he is barred from is going out, as well as visits," she said.

"We currently have five people in isolation. For those in isolation, the investigations are ongoing," she said. She added that nine people in Rijeka and those in the aforementioned Zagreb clinic have been isolated so far in Croatia.

"We have one case so far, there's no need to panic, even if there are more," said Dr. Alemka Markotic of Zagreb's Fran Mihaljevic Clinic.

People who have been in contact with the infected patient are also being monitored and are under control but aren't in the hospital. "Anyone who has been in contact with the patient will be contacted by a medical team," she said.

Dr. Markotic said the man who has tested positive for coronavirus came to the hospital yesterday after having been in the popular Italian city of Milan with his girlfriend.

The man works at a technology company, and as was learned, he was at work on Friday. He was at a Champions League football match in Milan between Atalanta and Valencia. He went there with his girlfriend on February the 19th, 2020.

According to the information as things stand, the girl the man with coronavirus was with in Milan has not yet been tested.

Make sure to stay up to date with the situation by following this page for rolling updates as we get them.