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.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Croatia Logs 198 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Fatalities

ZAGREB, 28 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours Croatia has registered 198 new cases of coronavirus and two people have died as a consequence amid 1,042 active cases, the national COVID response team reported on Wednesday.

There are currently 143 hospitalised patients and 11 of them are on ventilators.

A total of 146 people have recovered over the past 24 hours and 3,267 people are currently self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case of the contagion was identified in Croatia, there have been a total of 363,039 people infected with the novel coronavirus, of whom 8,249 people have died and 353,748 have recovered, 125 of them in the past 24 hours.

To date, a total of 2,281,574 tests have been conducted, including 6,141 taken in the past 24 hours.

By 27 July, a total of 3,031,563  doses of vaccines had been administered, with 40.1% of the total population or 48.2% of the adult population having been inoculated.

Altogether, 1,628,084 people have received at least one vaccine dose, of whom 1,450,537 have been fully inoculated (1,403,476 persons have received two doses and 47,058 have received the single-dose Jannsen vaccine), which makes up 43.05% of the adult population.

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

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Croatia Logs 193 New Coronavirus Cases, no Deaths

ZAGREB, 27 July, 2021 - Croatia has registered 193 new coronavirus cases and no COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Tuesday.

The number of active cases currently stands at 971. This includes 143 people who are receiving hospital treatment, 13 of whom are on ventilators. A total of 3,267 people are in self-isolation.

Since late February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 362,841 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,247 have died and 353,623 have recovered, including 146 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 2,275,433 people have been tested for coronavirus to date, including 7,393 in the last 24 hours.

By 26 July, 3,018,451 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 had been administered, with 40 percent of the total population and 48.1 percent of the adult population having been vaccinated. A total of 1,623,475 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose and 1,440,370 of them have been fully vaccinated (1,394,976 have received two doses and 45,394 have been inoculated with the single-dose Jannsen vaccine), which makes up 42.76 percent of the adult population.

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

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Croatia Reports 125 New Coronavirus Cases, No Deaths

ZAGREB, 25 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 125 coronavirus cases and no COVID deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Sunday.

There are 1,009 active cases, including 137 hospitalised patients, 13 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,198 persons are self-isolating.

Croatia has registered 362,621 coronavirus cases to date, including 8,245 deaths and 353,367 recoveries, of which 129 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,248,466 persons have been tested for the virus, including 5,979 in the past 24 hours, and 39.9% of population, including 48% of adults, have been vaccinated, of whom 42.45% fully.

HZJZ: Over 3m vaccine doses given without fatal side effects

The Public Health Institute (HZJZ) said today that 3,005,376 vaccine doses had been applied to date and that 1,429,990 persons had been fully vaccinated.

HZJZ director Krunoslav Capak said the HALMED regulator had not received any reports of side effects with a fatal outcome confirmed to have been linked to vaccination. He added that 4,435 reports of suspected side effects had been received to date.

The highest vaccination rate with the first dose has been achieved in Zagreb - 46.1% of the entire population and 55.8% of adults.

Zagreb also accounts for the highest rate of completed vaccination - 40.4% of the city's population and 48.9% of its adult population.

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

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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.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Croatia Logs 146 New Coronavirus Cases, 3 Deaths

ZAGREB, 20 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 146 coronavirus cases and three deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Monday.

There are 739 active cases, including 121 hospitalised patients, 11 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,573 persons are self-isolating.

To date, Croatia has registered 361,759 coronavirus cases, including 8,243 deaths and 325,777 recoveries, 89 of which in the past 24 hours.

To date, Croatia has tested 2,223,324 persons for the virus, including 4,612 in the past 24 hours.

Also, 2,930,768 vaccines have been administered and 39.3% of the population has been vaccinated, including 47.2% of the adult population.

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

Sunday, 18 July 2021

CNIPH's Croatian Vaccination Campaign Launches With Videos

July the 18th, 2021 - The Croatian vaccination campaign has been stepped up a notch by the Croatian Institute of Public Health, this time with a few familiar faces and videos.

The Croatian vaccination rollout hasn't been quite going as planned or hoped, with less than 50 percent of the country's population vaccinated, efforts to encourage people to get the jab are being ramped up in some rather creative ways.

With new variants appearing in different parts of Europe and problems surrounding travel easing but still posing a problem, covid passports are now a reality for many. With restrictions looming for those who aren't vaccinated or can't prove themselves to be negative, the Croatian vaccination campaign has engaged some famous faces from various fields to help.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the videos the Croatian vaccination campaign, more precisely the Croatian Institute of Public Health, will use in their promotion of the vaccine will last for around thirty seconds and involve a few well known Croatian faces.

Those individuals will explain why it's important to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, on both a personal and a collective level.

The first household names to appear will be Tonci Huljic and Zoran Sprajc, with more public people expected.

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

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Croatia Registers 155 New COVID Cases, 2 Deaths

ZAGREB, 14 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, there have been 155 new cases of coronavirus in Croatia and two people have died, the national COVID response team said on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 595 active cases in the country, including 111 hospitalised patients of whom 8 are on ventilators.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Croatia on 25 February 2020, there have been 361,079 people infected with the virus, of whom 8,233 have died and 352,251 have recovered, including 54 in the past 24 hours.

Currently, there are 3,939 people in self-isolation.

A total of 2,201,991 people have been tested to date, with 3,965 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.

As of 13 July, a total of 2,848,709 doses of vaccines have been administered and 38.5% of the population has been inoculated or 46.3% of adults. 

A total of 1,562,081 people have received at least one dose and 1,317,827 have received both shots.

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

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Croatia Logs 83 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths

ZAGREB, 13 July, 2021 - In the past 24 hours, 83 coronavirus cases and two deaths have been registered in Croatia, the national COVID-19 crisis management team said on Tuesday.

There are 496 active cases, including 106 hospitalised patients, nine of whom are on ventilators, while 3,969 persons are self-isolating.

Croatia has registered 360,924 coronavirus cases to date, 8,231 COVID deaths and 352,197 persons who have recovered from the disease, including 96 in the past 24 hours.

To date, 2,198,026 persons have been tested for the virus, including 4,577 in the past 24 hours.

Also, 2,833,080 vaccines have been administered, with 38.4% of the total and 46.3% of the adult population immunised - 1,557,706 persons have received at least one dose, including 1,275,374 that have received both and 30,131 that have received the Janssen vaccine, which requires only one dose.

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

Monday, 12 July 2021

Porec Vaccination Point Error as Vaccines Disappear After 10 Minutes

July the 12th, 2021 - Vaccination is underway across the world with more and more people getting their first and second doses in an attempt to protect themselves, those around them and finally bring an end to this truly tiresome global pandemic. The Porec vaccination point organisation, however, experienced quite the embarrassing and unexpected error recently.

As Morski writes, a rather unusual situation happened recently at an organised Porec vaccination point, where the free vaccination of citizens with the Pfizer vaccine had been planned. Many people who turned up to get vaccinated waited around and didn't even manage to receive the vaccine.

The increasingly intensive promotion of vaccination against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, by both the state and local authorities in some places across the country finally seems to have borne fruit. A Porec vaccination point was organised very recently from 10:00, and people could arrive there without invitation or needing to give any prior notice, but after only 10 minutes, doctors went outside and told those gathered waiting to be vaccinated that there were no more vaccines available, writes

It seems that the local institutions in Porec didn't properly communicate the whole story well because people who were coming there for their second dose of the vaccine also responded to this public call. Namely, unannounced vaccination is intended only for those who are coming to get their first dose of the vaccine.

The Istrian Institute of Public Health claims that about 200 people from other counties came to the Porec vaccination point who needed a second dose, not a first dose, without notice. So, as they explained from the Institute, they met them and vaccinated them with another dose from the planned stocks for people coming for their first dose, more precisely those who haven't yet been vaccinated.

The Istrian Institute of Public Health is, as such, appealing to people travelling there from other counties not to come for their second doses without notice so as not to create unnecessary crowds and a repeat of this odd situation which ended up being a waste of the time of all involved.

In typical Croatian fashion, there still seems to be a lot of holes in the communication channels between the various institutions and people when it comes to vaccination. It is no surprise in this case, and with the fact that currently only those with HZZO can be vaccinated, that so few people are turning up.

In a global pandemic, one would think that even Croatia would cut the paperwork and red tape and simply vaccinate everyone, however that still seems, for some reason, a pipe dream as many still wait to receive their first dose.

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

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