Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Croatia Reports 43 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths

ZAGREB, 23 June, 2021 - Croatia has registered 43 new coronavirus cases and two COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus crisis management team reported on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 517 active cases in the country, including 251 people who are receiving hospital treatment, with 18 of them placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 359,302 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,190 have died and 350,595 have recovered, including 56 in the last 24 hours. Currently, 3,916 people are self-isolating.

A total of 2,119,459 people have been tested for COVID-19 to date, including 1,992 in the last 24 hours.

As of 22 June, 2,389,633 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, with 1,456,750 people receiving at least one dose and 932,833 receiving both doses. A total of 9,975 doses were administered on 22 June, the coronavirus crisis management team said.

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

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Croatia Registers 75 New Coronavirus Cases, 6 Deaths

ZAGREB, 22 June, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, Croatia registered 75 new cases of SARS-CoV-2, and there are currently 532 active cases in the country, while six people died as a consequence, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

There are 253 hospitalised COVID patients and 16 of them are on ventilators.

Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was registered in Croatia in February last year there have been a total of 359,259 people infected with the contagion and 8,188 have died as a consequence while 350,539 have recovered.

There are currently 3,792 people in self-isolation.

To date a total of 2,117,467 tests have been conducted and 5,308 of those were conducted in the past 24 hours.

As of 21 June, 2,379,658 doses of vaccines have been administered and so far 1,455,647 people have received at least one dose and 924,011 have received both shots, a press release said.

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

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Croatia Logs 146 New COVID-19 Cases, 2 Deaths

ZAGREB, 16 June, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, Croatia has logged 146 new COVID-19 cases after conducting 5,485 tests, and two infected persons have died, the national COVID-19 response team said on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 801 active cases in the country, including 349 hospitalised patients, of whom 28 are on ventilators, and 4,774 people are in self-isolation.

To date, there have been a total of 358,823 registered cases of the contagion, 8,162 people have died as a consequence while 349,860 have recovered.

A total of 2,092,201 people have been tested for the virus to date, including 5,485 in the past 24 hours.

As of 15 June, a total of 2,196,552 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 1,427,566 people receiving at least one dose and 768,986 people receiving both vaccine doses.

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

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

President Zoran Milanović: To Encroach on Human Freedoms, Necessary to Have Decision of Parliament

ZAGREB, 16 June, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday at the forum "Human Rights in the Coronavirus Crisis" that encroaching on the intimate space of human freedoms required a decision of the parliament, which he would have let it make if he were prime minister during the crisis.

Milanović said at the forum at the Faculty of Law that "in this crisis, we are not talking about human rights but about fundamental human freedoms."

"My right to breathe, to sneeze, to walk, to move - that is my human freedom. In order to affect that deeply intimate space, it is necessary to have a decision of a representative body," Milanović said.

In his presentation, he referred to Articles 16 and 17 of the Constitution and said that the coronavirus situation had met the conditions for declaring a state of emergency.

"Article 17... refers to a state of emergency, imminent danger of war or a natural disaster. It doesn't matter if this virus, and a virus is a natural fact and attacks a living organism, originated as a fact of zoonosis or was released by the Chinese or escaped from the laboratory, it makes no difference. That is a serious matter. It puts lives in danger. If that doesn't meet the conditions (for declaring a state of emergency), nothing does," Milanović said.

He added that if the coronavirus crisis had happened during his term as prime minister, he would have let the parliament vote in the relevant decisions, which would result in greater public trust, instead of having a COVID-19 response team do it.

Everything we watched for a year and a half was surreal, he added. He praised the fact that the vaccine was produced so quickly, adding that everything else was wrong.

Ombudswoman: Citizens had numerous complaints

According to Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter, during the pandemic citizens had questions and complaints related to passes, self-isolation, access to health care since family doctors were not available to them and their examinations were cancelled, and they also sent questions related to the right to work, that is, to work from home or work in the office.

In the past few months, the ombudswoman has been receiving questions about vaccination and in the past few weeks, about COVID passports.

She also said that the frequent changes in the anti-epidemic measures and vague recommendations had led to an increase in dissatisfaction and fear among citizens, which had further undermined trust in institutions.

The ombudswoman said that there were solutions and that her report for 2020 had been discussed in the parliament, and now she hoped that the recommendations would be implemented.

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

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Dijana Zadravec Presents Her Evidence of Corruption in a Zagreb Hospital

ZAGREB, 15 June, 2021 - The National Anti-Corruption Council on Tuesday interviewed the dismissed head of the radiology ward of Zagreb's Sisters of Charity Hospital, Dijana Zadravec, who presented her evidence of criminal activities used to siphon money from the hospital.

Zadravec, who has been on sick leave since May, told members of that parliamentary body that she learned yesterday from the media that acting hospital director Zoran Vatavuk had given her a warning before dismissal for harming the hospital's reputation, noting that the hospital's reputation was harmed by corruption and those who committed and covered it up.

Zadravec said that her fight against corruption started in 2016, when her persecution and harassment started as well.

She said that as the deputy hospital head she reported in 2016 the charging of fictitious overtime work which the then director Mario Zovak had covered up, adding that she had reported this to the prosecutorial authorities and the Health Ministry.

Zadravec said that in late 2020 she discovered a criminal network at the hospital, with public money being siphoned by doctors, which was why she reported them for abuse of office.

The doctor, who claims to have extensive documentation proving her allegations, says that offers to suppliers with whom the hospital did business without public tenders, since the last public tender was conducted in 2019, were signed by doctors Vladimir Kalousek and Branimir Čule, and that the offers exceeded HRK 30 million.

She also cited cases when less material was used for operations than the quantity ordered from suppliers.

Commenting on Zadravec's allegations, the State Secretary and chair of the Sisters of Charity Hospital Steering Board, Tomislav Dulibić, said that hospital documentation was being checked by inspectors from the health and finance ministries and the HZZO health insurance agency.

"According to preliminary information, no significant departures have been found, except for some minor irregularities. Eleven inspectors are working on this, invite them to testify," Dulibić told the Anti-Corruption Council.

He said that the decision to carry out the inspection at the hospital was made a couple of weeks ago, noting that the relevant proceedings were underway.

The chair of the Anti-Corruption Council, Nikola Grmoja, asked if anyone had responded to Zadravec's claims, to which Zadravec said that after she reported the false charging of overtime work, Health Ministry inspectors were called in and concluded that the matter should be investigated by the hospital director.

Allegations should be investigated as soon as possible 

After conducting the interviews today, the Anti-Corruption Council adopted a conclusion asking the ministries of health, finances and economy as well as the prosecutorial authorities and the USKOK anti-corruption office to determine facts related to the case as soon as possible.

Zadravec was told to submit copies of the reports she had sent to the competent authorities as well as the text message in which, she claims, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković lobbied for Zovak's reappointment as the hospital head.

The Anti-Corruption Council will send the audio recording of today's hearing to the prosecutorial authorities, and it will ask the Health Ministry to submit all documents on inspections conducted at the hospital since 2016 or explain why no inspections were conducted.

The Council will also ask the government to secure additional conditions for the employment of financial investigators at courts in four big cities.

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

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Croatia Logs 96 New COVID Cases, 8 Deaths

ZAGREB, 15 June (Hina) - In the past 24 hours, Croatia has logged 96 new COVID cases after conducting 5,924 tests, and eight infected persons have died, the national COVID response team reported on Tuesday.

Currently, there are 767 active cases in the country, including 372 hospitalised patients, of whom 28 are on ventilators, and 5,352 people are in self-isolation.

To date, there have been a total of 358,677 registered cases of the contagion, 8,160 people have died as a consequence while 349,750 have recovered.

A total of 2,086,716 people have been tested for the virus to date, including 5,924 in the past 24 hours.

As of 14 June, a total of 2,164,874 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 1,419,924 people receiving at least one dose and 744,950 people receiving both vaccine doses.

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

Friday, 11 June 2021

Number of Insured Persons in Croatia in May Up by 3.3% YOY

ZAGREB, 11 June 2021 - The number of insured persons registered with the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO) increased to 1,573 949 in May 2021, or 3.3% more than in May 2020, thus rising for four months in a row, the HZMO reported on Friday.

Broken down by business activity, the highest number, 245,053, are in the processing industry, and 239,352 in the wholesale and retail trade sector.

In comparison to May 2020, the highest increase of 8,200 more insured persons was registered in the construction industry, and 7,730 more in the hospitality and catering industry.

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

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Croatia Logs 275 New Coronavirus Cases, 7 Fatalities

ZAGREB, 9 June, 2021 - In the past 24 hours Croatia has logged 275 new coronavirus cases and seven people have died as a consequence, the national COVID-19 response team reported on Wednesday.

There are 1,330 active cases in the country, including 520 hospitalised patients, 51 of whom are on ventilators.

Croatia has registered 358,061 cases of the novel coronavirus since it was first identified in the county on 25 February 2020 and 8,103 people have died as a consequence. A total of 348,628 people have recovered from the contagion, including 159 in the past 24 hours.

There are currently 6,819 people in self-isolation.

To date a total of 2,060,002 tests have been conducted and of that number, 5,970 were conducted in the past 24 hours.

By 8 June a total of 1,947,784 doses of vaccines have been administered. So far 1,357,103 people have received at least one dose while 590,681 have received both shots.

On 8 June alone, 27,128 shots were administered, the response team said.

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

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

MEP Biljana Borzan: Ban on Sale of Energy Drinks to Children Should Have Been Adopted in 2018

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - Biljana Borzan, one of Croatia's members of the European Parliament, said on Tuesday that a motion by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to ban the sale of energy drinks to children should have been supported in 2018 because the recent death of a 13-year-old youth in Zagreb might have been avoided.

MEP Borzan, who put forward a bill to ban the sale of energy drinks to children, told a press conference that this is an exceptionally important topic, however, the ideas and proposals by the opposition were ignored at the time.

"Had our proposal to ban the sale of energy drinks to children three years ago been adopted in the Sabor, perhaps this tragedy would not have occurred. I am nauseated to be here today as a mother and a doctor," she said, expressing her condolences to the family of the deceased youth.

She added that this was the first case of death of a child connected to the consumption of an energy drink and warned that if nothing was done, it would not be the last. "There is a considerable number of cases like this one in the world. Consumption of energy drinks by children is problematic for more than one reason," said Borzan.

By consuming energy drinks, children consume large quantities of sugar, which negatively impacts obesity statistics in Croatia. The second problem is the consumption of caffeine, taurine and other problematic and suspect substances while the third problem is that children's taste changes with such extremely sweet beverages so all other food becomes insufficiently sweet for them, Borzan said. The fourth problem is that the consumption of energy drinks in combination with alcohol is becoming more and more popular among teenagers, she added.

High blood pressure, heart attack, arrhythmia, headache, nausea, vomiting, cramping, panic attacks, anxiety, stress, diabetes, addiction, allergies, insomnia, risky behaviour, are just some of the repercussions of excessive consumption of energy drinks, she explained.

She recalled that in 2018, the SDP had proposed a bill to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 18, which was rejected by the ruling majority, which initially said that the EU did not allow this, said Borzan.

That is not true as some Baltic countries have such a law in force while retail chains in some EU countries have imposed such a ban on their own, Borzan said.

The government then said that it would introduce an additional tax in an effort to deal with that problem, which it did, Borzan said, noting that a ban would be far more effective and just as it would refer only to children.

Citing data from the European Food Safety Authority, Borzan said that the situation in Croatia was concerning as 86% of 16-year-olds consume energy drinks and 47% of them combine them with alcohol.

Sixty percent of children under the age of 12 who regularly consume energy drinks said they did so because they liked the taste, Borzan said, noting that it was bizarre that 40% of them said they consumed them because they lacked energy.

In addition to a ban, it is important to educate the public so parents don't buy these drinks for their children, she said.

Referring to an announcement by the government that it plans to establish an inquiry commission for this problem, Borzan said that this was a tardy response and warned that inquiry commissions had not resulted in positive changes in the past.

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

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Croatia Reports 178 New Coronavirus Cases, 5 Deaths

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - In the last 24 hours, 178 new coronavirus cases and five related deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 management team reported on Tuesday. 

Currently, there are 1,221 active cases, including 545 infected people receiving hospital treatment, of whom 51 are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 357,786 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,096 have died and 348,469 have recovered, including 195 in the last 24 hours. A total of 6,954 persons are currently self-isolating.

To date, 2,054,032 people have been tested for the virus, including 6,814 in the last 24 hours.

By 7 June, 1,920,656 vaccine doses have been administered, with 1,345,741 people receiving one dose and 574,915 receiving both doses. On 7 June alone, 16,983 vaccine doses were administered.

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

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