Wednesday, 10 March 2021

University Hospital Centre in Split Performs its First Stem Cell Transplantation

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - The university hospital centre in Split recently performed its first transplant of stem cells, and the patient concerned is a 62-year-old woman, who is recovering from the surgery very well, the centre's director, Julije Meštrović said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The operation was performed 16 days ago, and this is the first time to have a stem cell transplant outside Zagreb.

This is a great success for the medical profession in Split and Croatia, he said.

Three hospitals in Zagreb perform stem cell transplants, and the first surgery of this kind was conducted in 1983.

The Split hospital expects to annually carry out 10-15 transplants of this kind.

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

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 962 New Cases, 4 Deaths, 334 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - In the last 24 hours Croatia has conducted 7,499 coronavirus tests, and of them 12.8%, that is 962, have returned positive, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Wednesday.

The death toll linked to COVID-19 has risen by four more fatalities to 5,625.

Currently, there are 3,981 active cases, including 807 hospitalised patients of whom 82 are placed on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of the coronavirus infection in the country on 25 February 2020, more than 1.4 million tests have been conducted, and of them, 248,061 have turned out to be positive.

To date, 238,455 people have recovered from this infectious disease.

There are now 14,537 people self-isolating.

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

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 658 New Cases, 15 Deaths, 482 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, Croatia has conducted 5,838 coronavirus tests, and 658, that is 11.3%, have returned positive, the country's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Saturday.

In the said period, there have been 15 deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 5,585.

Currently, Croatia has 3,770 active cases, of whom 738 are hospitalised patients, including 72 placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia recorded its first case of infection with coronavirus, 1.38 million persons have been tested and 246,120 have contracted the virus. Of them, 236,765 have recovered, including 482 in the last 24 hours.

There are now 15,312 people self-isolating in the country.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Parliament Passes Amendments Granting Digital Nomads Right to Health Care

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - The Croatian parliament on Friday passed amendments under which digital nomads, that is, third-country nationals who use digital technology for work and have been granted temporary residence in the Republic of Croatia, have the right to health care.

The amendments to the Act on Mandatory Health Insurance and Health Care for Foreigners in the Republic of Croatia enable digital nomads to exercise the right to health care.

This applies to third-country nationals who are employed or doing work using communication technology for a company or their own company which is not registered in the Republic of Croatia and do not carry out work for or provide services to employers in Croatia, and who have been granted temporary residence in our country.

They will not be obliged to apply for compulsory health insurance, but then they will bear the costs of using health care in health insitutions, private practices or other health care providers.

Amendments to the Islands Act, which transpose the government's decree on subsidising water for human consumption per islander, have been sent to second parliamentary reading.

In addition, several agricultural laws, on food control, veterinary medicine, breeding of domestic animals, have been sent to second reading.

The parliament has also adopted several reports for 2019 -- on state budget execution, on the implementation of official development assistance to foreign countries, and on the effects of the implementation of the Islands Act.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Health Minister Beroš: "99 Samples Positive to British, 2 to African, 4 to New York COVID Variants"

ZAGREB, 4 March 2021 - Of 350 COVID samples taken that have been sequenced, 99 are positive to the British, 2 to the African and 4 to the New York variant, Health Minister Vili Beroš said during a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The Croatian Institute for Public Heath (HZJZ) has sent the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control over the past month 10% of its positive COVID samples for sequencing and so far the results for 350 of about 1,000 samples sent have arrived, explained Beroš.

"In the past two weeks we are again recording an increase in the number of new cases on the week. The number of active cases has increased by 24% on the week. The number of hospitalised patients is still showing a positive trend of a mild decrease, however their number follows the trend of new cases with a certain time delay," underscored Beroš.

A shipment of 318,680 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Croatia so far and 242,666 doses have been administered - one dose to 121,330 people and two to 60,668.

A total of 1,210 reports of side effects have been recorded, mostly with mild and transient symptoms.

Božinović: 600 tonnes of coronavirus protective equipment in warehouses

Interior Minister and head of the COVID response team Davor Božinović recalled that the current restrictive measures are in force until 15 March and they include a limited number of people gathering, restrictions at border crossings, special working conditions in stores and in public transport.

He underscored that the logistics centre and regional warehouses currently have 600 tonnes of coronavirus protective equipment available.

He recalled that the border regime was being extended, which means that citizens of countries on the HZJZ special list have to provide a negative PCR test no older than 48 hours to be allowed to enter Croatia and they are obliged to go into 14 days of self-isolation, which can be shortened if another PCR test is conducted on the seventh day at their own cost and it proves to be negative.

Transit passengers are automatically ordered into self-isolation if they don't leave the country within 12 hours.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Croatian PM Plenković: "Government More Than Ready to Procure Sputnik V Vaccine"

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that the government is more than ready to procure the Russian Sputnik V vaccine once it is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Plenković said that the government had asked the Russian side for additional documentation on the Sputnik V vaccine and underscored that a formal procedure for the EMA to approve it had apparently begun.

"We will do everything bilaterally to see the details. When the Agency approves the vaccine, we are more than ready to procure it," the prime minister said.

It is expected that EMA will approve the Johnson&Johnson vaccine this month which is, he said, another 900,000 doses, to be distributed according to a certain dynamic.

He said that according to current data, more than 242,000 doses had been used in Croatia, and that 121,000 people had received one, while 60,000 had received both doses.

He added that 42,500 people have registered online to be vaccinated and that about 3,000 had called a toll-free line.

Plenković underscored that Croatia still had a relatively good epidemiological situation. According to the weekly incidence rate, we are ranked fourth in the EU in terms of the lowest rate and we have the lowest incidence among Mediterranean countries and the second lowest among Central European countries, he said.

Although we are seeing a growth in recent days, of 26% last week and 20% this week, we were able to allow hospitality establishments to reopen and sport trainings to resume, he added.

Underscoring that that was a step towards a more normal way of life, Plenković called for caution so that the trend of a decreasing number of patients in hospitals, patients on ventilators and deaths could be maintained.

Since there are infection hotspots in some counties, county COVID response teams are implementing stricter measures in agreement with the national COVID-19 crisis management team in order to curb a possible new spread of the epidemic, he said.

As for activities following the 29 December earthquake, the prime minister said that work on completing damage assessment was intensified so that it could be completed and so the government could apply for money from the European Solidarity Fund through the Ministry for Regional Development and EU Funds.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

HALMED Confirms News That EMA Starts Review of Sputnik V

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - Croatia's Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Services (HALMED) reported on Thursday that the European Union's vaccine watchdog had started a review of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

HALMED recalls that Sputnik V jab was developed by the Russian Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement on Thursday that the rolling review is based on results from laboratory studies and clinical studies in adults.

The Russian vaccine has been deployed in 40 countries worldwide, including European nations Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, and Hungary. Slovakia received its first shipment of 200,000 doses over the weekend, the Euronews said on its website.

The EMA has so far approved three vaccines for use across the bloc. These were developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford University, and Moderna. It is currently evaluating the jab by Johnson & Johnson and is expected to give its approval in mid-March.

On Wednesday, Croatian Health Minister Vili Beroš said he had held talks with a Russian delegation on Tuesday on Sputnik V vaccines.

He said that during the meeting he had called for expediting the delivery of documentation on the Russian COVID-19 vaccine so that Croatia's HALMED regulator could evaluate the vaccine's safety and efficiency.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 667 New Cases, 9 Deaths, 422 Recoveries

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, Croatia has conducted 6,965 coronavirus tests, and 667, that is 9.58%, have returned positive, the country's COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Thursday.

In the said period, there have been nine deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 5,564.

Currently, Croatia has 3,558 active cases, of whom 740 are hospitalised patients, including 69 COVID patients placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia recorded its first case of infection with coronavirus, 1,368,448 tests have been performed, showing that 244,872 people have contracted the virus. Of them, 235,750 have recovered, including 422 in the last 24 hours.

There are now 14,456 people self-isolating in the country.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

GLAS: "People Again Do Not Know Whether Medicines They Need Will Be Available or Not"

ZAGREB, 3 March, 2021 - The Civic Liberal Alliance (GLAS) party said on Wednesday Health Minister Vili Beroš and the government have once again put people in a situation where they do not know whether the medicines they need will be available or not, and the hospitals will again have to pay millions in court and debt enforcement costs.

"Debts for the goods delivered are not being repaid for more than 365 days, which is six times longer than allowed by law, and have now reached HRK 6 million. Even more tragically, the drug wholesalers must pay their dues to the state - taxes and contributions - in time," the party said in a statement.

Commenting on this situation, Minister Beroš, as usual, denied the amount of the debt and shifted the blame onto the citizens, claiming that they were not paying enough while using health services too much, GLAS said.

It recalled that the citizens contribute HRK 30 billion to the healthcare system annually, with the insurance policy holder with an average monthly wage paying HRK 1,600 monthly towards health insurance. For that money the citizens have the right to expect at least the minimum health service and they certainly do not need anyone to criticise them for contributing too little, the party said.

GLAS called on the health minister to thoroughly analyse the healthcare system and present the structure of costs to the public to see where the vast sums of money were going.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Health Minister Beroš: "By This Morning 36,013 People Registered to be Vaccinated"

ZAGREB, 3 March 2021 - By this morning 36,013 people have registered online to be vaccinated, which indicates that citizens have recognised that vaccination is an unavoidable step in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Wednesday.

More than 50% of those who registered for vaccination were from Zagreb, followed by Split-Dalmatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties. There were also 948 phone calls by people interested in getting vaccinated, Beroš told a regular press conference by the national COVID response team.

The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) Krunoslav Capak underscored that in the first three days of this week there were 11.7% more new cases of coronavirus compared to the same period last week.

The share of positive cases among those tested is 10.2% while in the past seven days that was 7.9% and in the past 14 days that share was 7.2%.

Croatia ranks 3rd in the European Union with regard to the incidence rate, with Germany and Denmark recording lower incidence rates while the Czech Republic has the highest rate.

The HALMED medicines agency has received 1,186 reports of side effects - 891 to the Pfizer vaccine, 222 to AstraZeneca and 71 to the Moderna vaccine.

Asked why fairs are not allowed, Capak said that that was being considered and added that it was not the same to have a farmers' market fair in downtown Zagreb and the usual village fairs where pigs are roasted on the spit and the festivities continue until late into the night.

The head of the response team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, said that measures were being relaxed gradually. He added that the measure to limit the number of people at funerals to 25 had brought about results.

There are some deviations and we are trying to respond to that in situations of funerals or some other organised event. Anyone organising such an event needs to do everything they can to keep it under control, said Božinović.

He added that as far as spontaneous gatherings like those in Zagreb are concerned, he recalled that a decision was adopted yesterday which is not repressive but rather preventative and that messages are being sent that large gatherings are not a good idea.

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