Friday, 15 October 2021

Krunoslav Capak Hopes for 4th Wave Peak, Drop in Infection Rate

October the 15th, 2021 - The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, has stated that he hopes we're now experiencing the very peak of the fourth wave and that we'll soon see the infection rate begin to drop again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Krunoslav Capak recently spoke about the worrying large number of infections in neighbouring Serbia, but also about the big jump the same sense here in Croatia, as well as the third dose of the vaccine. Here in Croatia, after five months, we have seen quite a dramatic jump in the infection rate. Krunoslav Capak said that if you were to ask him personally, that he doesn't expect these figures to go over 2000.

"But if you look at the weekly averages - we're in stagnant growth. The first three days of this week had fewer cases than the first three days of last week. I'd dare to say and we hope that this is the peak of the fourth wave and that the numbers will now come back down again,'' he said.

Krunoslav Capak also said that he thinks that we're now right in the very peak of the fourth wave, although cooler, less stable weather is coming and that can pose a danger for the epidemiological situation, much like it did last year when things were at their very worst.

"We always need to remember that we have a large number of people who still aren't vaccinated, people who are unwell or overweight... That said, we also have a population that is already used to all of this, that more or less maintains social distance, doesn't attend gatherings, doesn't spend much time in closed spaces, so we're hoping that we might see the peak and that in a short time, meaning the second half of October, the numbers will start to fall,'' Krunoslav Capak said.

"If the virus is allowed a lot of space, it can spread"

He also commented on the situation in neighbouring Serbia, which has an average of more than 6,500 infected people per day.

"Despite the level of vaccination there, which is very similar to ours in Croatia, if the virus is allowed a lot of space to spread, it will do precisely that,'' he said.

Krunoslav Capak also said that high numbers for the winter are possible in Croatia, too.

"We hope that this won't happen, because we're at another level of vaccination, we have different epidemiological measures and the quality of compliance with these measures is different," he said.

A booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine

He also commented on the recommendations for the third, so-called coronavirus booster dose.

He talked about whether these booster vaccinations will be organised in hospitals and in nursing homes like last winter or whether it will take place at mass vaccination points.

"In our document, we recommended that vaccinations be organised for inpatient social care institutions and in the healthcare system, as was the case with the first set of vaccinations, while for all other categories, in consultation with a doctor, we can of course organise vaccinations at mass vaccination points," said Capak for RTL.

The prolongation of the Croatian covid certificates after a booster or third dose of the vaccine

Capak also said that they haven't yet determined the dates when they will start with the third dose, but that it will happen very soon.

When asked if anyone could come to the vaccination point on their own and say they live with an immunocompromised person and want to be vaccinated with the third dose, Capak replied: “The direct answer to your question is that yes, they'll be able to do that. We always have doctors present at these mass vaccination sites. Anyone can get vaccinated in consultation with a doctor.''

He also answered whether the third dose prolongs the duration of Croatian covid certificates.

“Given the fact that the EMA has now approved it, we're going to introduce the possibility for people to be vaccinated like this. Work is underway to deal with it all in terms of IT and to create business rules for issuing covid certificates. According to us, we're ready to extend people's covid certificates after that booster or third dose for another year,'' he concluded.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated section and select your preferred language.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Self-Isolation Rules Change for Croatian Schools Coming

September the 26th, 2021 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen Croatian schools close their doors for long periods of time and children learn from home via what has since been referred to as distance learning. Online platforms and Zoom classes became the norm for extended periods, and kids were often in and out of self-isolation in their droves as their classmates tested positive for the virus and parents became more and more desperate about things such as child care. That's all about to alter somewhat.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, has explained the changes that Croatian schools and pupils are set to face, which should take a weight off the shoulders of not only the education system and the children, but worried parents who, in many cases in the past, exhausted many resources they may not really have had.

“It isn't necessary for whole classes to go into self-isolation, it needs to be determined which kids were in close contact. A document on that topic is being prepared, and most importantly, only those students who sat at the same benches/desks, those within a radius of two metres and those who traveled longer than fifteen minutes with a student who fell ill [tested positive] will be placed into self-isolation,'' explained Krunoslav Capak at a recently held press conference during which the matter was discussed in more depth.

The document will be completed by the end of this week, but it is not yet known when it will take effect, so until then Croatian schools must continue being extra careful as infection numbers remain quite high across the country.

"The assessment should be made by an epidemiologist when they receive information from the child themselves in these cases, and it's going to be a similar thing with preschoolers. It all depends on how long the contact with the positive person has been,'' explained Krunoslav Capak.

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

Friday, 17 September 2021

New Protein-Based Vaccine in Croatia Produced by French Pharmaceutical Company Sanofi

September 17, 2021 - A new protein-based vaccine in Croatia will soon be put into use, produced by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, announced at a press conference on Friday that Croatia has purchased a new protein-based vaccine produced by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, reports

Beroš: It is a different type of vaccine

"The experts have articulated more clearly that we need to expand the range. It is a different type of vaccine. The question is what the practice will show; these are protein vaccines," Health Minister Vili Beroš said at the press conference.

"It's a lot cheaper than an mRNA vaccine."

"We have ordered about 300,000 doses of the innovative vaccine. So far, we have had vector (AstraZeneca) and mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna). This is protein; it is announced that it will be very effective. It is much cheaper than the mRNA vaccine. When EMA evaluates it, we will know more," Capak said.

"Germany ordered the most, so we ordered a smaller quantity."

"We will see how things go and how they react to viruses. Other countries have ordered the same, and Germany ordered the largest quantities. We assume they have more information. When they took so many vaccines, we also ordered some smaller quantities," Capak added. 

Vaccination was completed for 49.29% of the adult population.

"Today's share of positive cases is 12.5%, in the last seven days we had 11.3%, in the past 14 days 10%, and the total since the beginning of the pandemic 14.4%. Of today's 1394 cases, 1164, or 83% have not been vaccinated. 195 or 14% have been vaccinated. We have nine deaths today, of which one person has not been vaccinated, and only one person with severe comorbidity has been vaccinated," said Capak, adding: "We are in 23rd place in the EU countries in terms of incidence rate. Poland is the lowest."

"Most of the hospitalized, seriously ill were not vaccinated and wished they were, that they were braver and wiser to get vaccinated. It will be good for everyone that has recovered and for those who do not have serious consequences. Our post covid clinic is full in recent months," said Alemka Markotić about the situation in the Clinic for Infectious Diseases.

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

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Krunoslav Capak Talks Measures, Covid Certificates, Third Dose

August the 28th, 2021 - The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, has discussed the epidemiological situation, the fact that Croatia continues to be a safe tourist destination, anti-epidemic measures and the idea of a third dose of the vaccine.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Krunoslav Capak stated on Thursday that Croatia currently has the most favourable epidemiological situation of all tourist countries in Europe, as well as of many other tourist countries globally. This has been reaffirmed by Croatia remaining orange on the ECDC's latest corona map update.

“It’s very good news; no additional measures are being introduced for tourists leaving Croatia to return home, and if we do turn red, then additional measures can be introduced, including quarantine,'' Krunoslav Capak told Dnevnik Nova TV.

He reported that no additional measures are being planned so far, and the existing ones will be extended until September the 15th, 2021.

“Now we have a slightly worse situation than we did at the same time last year, and the fourth wave started earlier than last year. Our expectations are that, given that we have more than 50 percent of the population vaccinated, it won't be such big growth and it won't last long," he added.

He noted that covid certificates have been introduced for gatherings of more than fifty people in Dalmatian and coastal counties and for a hundred people in continental counties, adding that they haven't yet considered introducing them for shopping centres, restaurants and cafes, although this option remains open and all is applicable in some European countries.

Consideration is also being given to using the certificates for the healthcare system and the social security system. Because, as Krunoslav Capak stated, it is important that when it comes to healthcare system, both patients and staff should try to avoid potentially infecting each other if possible.

“The use of covid certificates is tremendously important here, and we'd prefer everyone to be vaccinated,'' he pointed out.

"In some EU countries where covid certificates have been introduced, testing restrictions for asymptomatic people are being considered, so this will be one of the mechanisms in Croatia. We didn't definitely agree on when that would put put into practice,'' he said.

When asked about the vaccination of children, Krunoslav Capak noted that they support the vaccination of children aged 12 to 18, especially those with chronic underlying diseases where the risk of a severe form of the disease should it be contracted be higher.

"Now we're talking about it and stimulating the vaccination of children in their final grades of high school, and then high schools in which, due to the nature of the type of education they conduct, there is contact with more people,'' he added. He also invited every other child who wanted to, to come to receive the vaccination together with their parents.

Krunoslav Capak says the idea of a third dose of the vaccine is being discussed intensively, and Europe's position is rather conservative on the issue - most EU countries believe there is still a long way to go before we should need to start talking about that.

"So far, we don't have the infrastructure in place for that, nor the possibility to record the third dose, and we're also working on that. We epidemiologists will agree on which vulnerable groups we'll start giving the third dose too first,'' he stressed.

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

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, 22 July 2021

Roma People COVID-19 Vaccination in Croatia: Will Crushed by Disinformation

July 22, 2021 - With the overall struggle to get Croatians to take the coronavirus vaccine, it is often overlooked regarding Roma people COVID-19 vaccination in Croatia.

Despite coronavirus infections being low at the moment, the situation is tense. On July 5, as TCN reported, only 35% of the Croatian population was vaccinated as the Delta strain spreads globally and in the country.

"Unfortunately, we aren't satisfied with the percentage of vaccinated people we hoped to have. We all wanted to vaccinate more than 50 percent of the total Croatian population during June, but sadly our numbers in that regard are much lower. Only about 35 percent of the total Croatian population has been vaccinated, which isn't enough for them to be calm and to be able to live according to the old normal,'' said epidemiologist Dijana Mayer back then. This was punished with the Croatian coast no longer being in the green, and without bigger vaccination interest, things can turn red. As TCN wrote, there are 5-6 Positive Cases at Split Airport every day, and new measures are introduced to British tourists as the Delta strain is booming there (but in a less fatal manner because of vaccines). Stricter measures, in general, can be excepted by the end of the month in Croatia too.

Fortunately, things got better in July. As reported on Wednesday, „Croatia administered nearly three million vaccine doses. Thus, 1.6 million people have received at least one dose of vaccines against COVID-19, and 1,388,674 have fully been vaccinated (1,349,652 have been double-jabbed plus 39,022 who have received a single-dose Jannsen vaccine), and this makes up 41.24% of the adult population“.

But, disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is vividly spread (just as disinformation about COVID-19), leaving Croatian fact-checking site Faktograf knee-deep in debunking work. Many Croatians sadly believe the fake news of the anti-vaxxers, and the situation culminated to the point where the Croatian officials (as officials in many other EU countries that also struggle with anti-vax propaganda) seriously discuss obligatory vaccination. Will it happen? Some politicians are up for it, others no, but overall, the situation is uncertain as the fourth infection wave approaches, and the season could potentially be in jeopardy in mid-August, as 24 Sata writes.


COVID-19 vaccine © Pixabay

In summary, there are currently more vaccines in Croatia than there are people interested in. It's hard to believe how things progressed from the start of the year when we witnessed a delay in vaccine shipments, outrage by the public when people such as Zagreb University Rector Damir Boras received the vaccine ahead of time and schedule. From the malfunctioning Cijepi se (Vaccinate yourself) website where you had to register for an appointment (which took forever to get) to a family doctor being able to sign you up, all the way to be able to take a shot without an appointment today, vaccines truly became accessible for everyone. There were even buses bringing vaccines and performing vaccinations in remote villages. So vaccines are for everyone to take, but is it really so?

Nothing in the world is perfect, and neither is Croatia. From time to time, we can see that some groups in Croatian society do get discriminated against or suffer negative stereotypes. For example, with significant progress in accepting the LGBTQ community, sadly homophobic attacks still happen. The tensions with the Serbian minority vary from the day-to-day political agenda, but it is safe to say no one has it worse than the Roma people in Croatia.

As TCN previously wrote, following the 2020 report by Human Rights House in Zagreb, Roma people in Croatia are still facing many obstacles in achieving their rights, which include employment, access to services, and adequate living standards, and there is still segregation in the education system too. Either perceived as thieves, criminals, beggars or completely ignored in Croatia, the question of how many Roma people in Croatia received the vaccine and how many Roma people want the vaccine in the first place, can't be left aside, as it shows how much the vaccine rollout truly is fair for every citizen in the country.

Disinformation crippled 80% of those willing to get the vaccine

Veljko Kajtazi, a member of the Croatian parliament, elected as a representative of the Roma community, says that official research of percentage of vaccinated Roma people hasn't been conducted, but he frequently goes „to the field“, and sees that the situation isn't good.

„If 45% of the Croatian population is vaccinated, I can say that Roma people are a very small percentage of that number“, commented Kajtazi, then on a relevant number of vaccinated people.

He supports the talk of obligatory vaccines and finds disinformation and fake news regarding vaccines to be the cause of low interest.

veljko_kajtazi_Hrvatska_radiotelevizija.jpgVeljko Kajtazi, screenshot / Hrvatska radiotelevizija

„Roma people have a very social culture, love gatherings, and live in big families. When the pandemic started, I cooperated with authorities in ensuring that social distancing measures are respected in Roma settlements and that we educate people on the dangers of coronavirus“, recalled Kajtazi.

While Roma people can be found living anywhere, the majority is often ghettoized. An example is in Zagreb, where the Kozari Bok neighborhood on the east side of the city is famous for its big Roma population. When looking outside of the capital city, there are many Roma villages and settlements which count more people than other Croatian villages.

One such place is Piškorovec in Međimurje, which the Lupiga news site referred to as „the biggest Croatian ghetto“. Their article detailed both living in Piškorovec and tensions with the nearby town of Čakovec underlining incidents and division between Roma and Croatians (as Roma People are often perceived as thieves or beggars).

„Last year 80% of Roma people wanted to take the vaccine, but today, they are scared and believe various conspiracy theories. People are not informed, and social networks spread so much disinformation“, Kajtazi pictured how wishing for a vaccine turned sideways.

In the end, he added that he is regularly in contact with the government and institutions to provide information on vaccines to the community. Katja also hopes the vaccine buses will come to Roma villages too.

Questions for HZJZ

The lack of information, geographical isolation, and the overall achievement of social rights (such as health insurance) like other Croatian citizens that the Human Rights House in Zagreb expressed in their report left a lot of open questions regarding Roma people vaccination. Particularly, are there any statistics on how many people vaccinated that the health officials might have, what is the mood towards vaccines in Roma communities in their view, and can buses come to isolated areas to vaccinate Roma people? The inquiry was sent to the Health Ministry and to the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ). Health Ministry very quickly forwarded the inquiry to the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) as these questions are part of their domain. The health ministry even forwarded the questions directly to the HZJZ headmaster Krunoslav Capak himself and other close associates on e-mail addresses not visible on the HZJZ website. But, HZJZ hasn't responded yet. Whether I tried to remind them and ask when can they answer via e-mail or phone calls, none left a response (although a phone call with HZJZ PR service confirmed there are experts in HZJZ that deal with the health of vulnerable social groups, which includes Roma People).

When the answer that can be expected for the moment remains unknown, but TCN will publish HZJZ's response when we receive it.

In the meantime, as we can see, despite vaccine skepticism being strong, there is nevertheless a slow but steady daily rise of vaccinated people in Croatia. 

Let's hope for the sake of public health that disinformation and fake news that turn people away from the vaccines will lower its influence on all the cultural groups and identities you can find in Croatia.

Editor's note: HZJZ response

Learn more about travelling to Croatia during the COVID-19 pandemic on our TC page.

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

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Croatian Public Health Institute Updates Rules for Vaccinated, Recovered People

July the 17th, 2021 - The Croatian Public Health Institute has updated its rules for vaccinated people and those who have proof of their previous contraction and subsequent recovery from COVID-19.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Public Health Institute has announced a few new changes according to which vaccinated persons would be exempted from testing and quarantine for nine months following full vaccination, instead of the previous six.

According to a statement published on the Croatian Public Health Institute's epidemiological services website, health surveillance in the quarantine/self-isolation of close contacts has been extended from the previous ten to fourteen days since the last close contact with an infected person is deemed to have taken place.

Such a decision was made taking into account the growing prevalence of the new Delta variant in the Republic of Croatia and throughout Europe and the slight increase in incidence within the country.

Furthermore, taking into account the recent data on the presumed duration of immunity after recovery and after vaccination, the new Croatian Public Health Institute recommendations are to exempt asymptomatic vaccinated subjects from PCR testing and quarantine only fourteen days after their second dose of the vaccination and not, as before, immediately following it.

In addition to all of the above, the exemption from quarantine and the need for PCR testing for asymptomatic individuals is being extended to nine months from the completion of the second dose of vaccination or from the onset of the disease, and the same applies to asymptomatic individuals who have recovered and received a single dose of vaccine within eight months from the onset of the disease. That will remain valid for nine months following them having received the vaccine.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including vaccination points and testing sites, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Capak: Croatia Identifies 23 Cases Of Delta Coronavirus Variant

June 25th, 2021 - Croatia has registered 23 cases of the Indian/Delta coronavirus variant in five counties. If it starts to spread, stricter epidemiological measures will follow. The Croatian Institute for Public Health and member of the national COVID response team, Krunoslav Capak, said on Friday.  

"The Indian variant has been identified in Međimurje, Šibenik-Knin, Varaždin, Split-Dalmatia, and Zagreb counties. Naturally, we are concerned," Capak told a regular COVID press conference.

Indian variant spreads 30 to 40 times faster.

"The Indian variant spreads 30 to 40 times faster than the classic and UK variant, which dominated recently. Indications exist that the contagion is more serious and that it affects younger people, and if it starts spreading among us, we will have to apply stricter measures," said Capak.

Croatia has registered 118 new COVID cases over the past 24 hours, slightly more than last week. However, the number over the entire week decreased by 25%. The highest incidence rate is in Zadar County due to recent celebrations following a basketball game when fans did not adhere to epidemiological measures. As a consequence, 70% of new cases registered in Zadar County are people younger than 40.

"That is a warning for all of us," Capak said.

He added that according to the 14-day incidence rate, Croatia ranks 11th among EU countries and 20th for the fatality rate. The current rate of positive cases among those tested is 2.9%, he said.

COVID certificate verification app downloaded more than 3,000 times

The head of the COVID  response team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, said that the COVID verification application had been downloaded more than 3,000 times. It is currently available in the Apple store and should soon be available in the Google store.

Božinović called on local authorities not to allow uncontrolled mass gatherings not to lose control of the epidemic.

Testing criteria to be changed

Considering that Digital Green Certificates enter into force on 1 July, the national criteria for testing as proof of recovery from COVID will change.

"As of 1 July, new testing criteria will enter into force so that fast antigen tests that come back positive will need to be confirmed by a PCR test. More than 45,000 people who were confirmed positive with antigen tests will as of next week be able to obtain COVID certificates," said Capak.

Even though the vaccination rate has slowed down and the set target of 55% of people inoculated by the end of June will not be achieved, Capak is convinced that that target will be reached soon.

Asked how they intend to convince 25% of the population that refuse to be vaccinated, Capak said that inoculation would mean that you can attend certain events, they will be rewarded with concerts and in other ways. Employers will be allowed to demand that employees who are not inoculated "be constantly tested."

EU citizens from green zones do not need quarantine or testing

Capak said that EU citizens coming to Croatia from green zones do not need to go into quarantine or be tested and freely enter the country.

The most important thing is that Croatia largely depends on tourism and needs to remain in the green zone. In that case, everyone will be able to return to their countries without additional restrictions. We need to remain in the green. That is in the interest of Croatia's health and economy, said Božinović.

For all, you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 18 June 2021

New Infections Fall 42% Week on Week, Says Chief Epidemiologist

ZAGREB, 18 June 2021- Chief epidemiologist Krunoslav Capak said on Friday, last week saw a 42% drop in new coronavirus infections and called on people to be vaccinated despite the good epidemiological situation.

Speaking at a press conference of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, Capak said there were 814 new infections from Monday through Friday last week and 468 this week.

The team said the epidemiological situation was favourable and that Croatia ranked 12th in the EU in terms of 14-day incidence per 100,000 population.

Health Minister Vili Beroš said citizens who planned to be vaccinated in the autumn were making a wrong calculation. Vaccination now, at the start of the summer, prevents a new virus wave, he added. "At the moment we know the vaccine protects for at least eight months, and most probably longer.

Asked how possible manipulation with digital EU certificates would be prevented as of 1 July, for example a person showing someone else's certificate to attend an event, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said it was always possible to identify the certificate bearer and that he was confident that manipulation of that kind would be rare.

For more news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Krunoslav Capak Talks COVID-19: We're Edging Closer to Old Normal

May the 23rd, 2021 - The epidemiological situation across Croatia continues to become more and more favourable, with infection rates dropping and the vaccination rollout picking up its pace as time goes on. With things looking far more positive, Krunoslav Capak, the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, has encouragingly stated that we're edging closer and closer to the ''old normal' we took for granted before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as the tourist season rapidly approaches and coronavirus cases continue on their downward trend, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic spoke about the somewhat controversial topic of so-called ''Covid passports'' and where Croatia currently stands.

"Croatia, as a country which relies heavily on tourism, has a strong motive to see all these solutions dealt with at the EU level, to be ready for its implementation as soon as possible. Our test was the first and we were the first to pass it successfully, not because we were first in line, but because some others weren't ready. We've done that part and we're ready. What has been published is legislation at the EU level. It's important that the certificates aren't referred to as travel documents, they're certificates that can confirm in a credible way for each person that the person has recovered, that they've been vaccinated or that they've tested negative", said Bozinovic.

"As for the parliament, I think the decision will be made on June the 7th, but that doesn't prevent us from starting to these certificates earlier. We have a week ahead of us in which we'll need to think about the new measures, given that the existing ones expire on May the 30th. Until then, we'll see in which direction to go further with concessions,'' he added.

''People who cannot be or haven't yet been vaccinated will not have to pay to be tested,'' Bozinovic assured.

Croatian test events: Everyone present returned a negative coronavirus test result.

When asked if the results of the pilot project had arrived since last week, Krunoslav Capak replied that they had results from the business event. There were 86 people who were vaccinated, and 32 who were vaccinated on the spot. "They're all negative," he said, which is extremely encouraging as we attempt to return to something like the old normal we were all so used to.

The second test event a wedding. "They were also all tested yesterday and we don't have a single positive test," Krunoslav Capak said.

"This is proof that in this way, if we provide access to the vaccinated, the sick and the tested, we can organise such events. We're close to teturning to the old normal ", Krunoslav Capak assured.

For all you need to know about coronavirus in Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres up and down the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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