Croatia: Situation remains good; measures to continue

Croatia: Situation remains good; measures to continue

Head of the Croatia National COVID-19 Crisis Management Team Davor Božinović said on Monday that, despite the positive epidemiological situation, they did not want to risk a third coronavirus wave, explaining that the impact of each measure to curb the pandemic would be assessed.

He stressed he could not specify whether the current measures would be relaxed after 31 January, but until then each existing measure would be evaluated.

Commenting on claims about the introduction of vaccination certificates which could enable citizens to travel, Božinović said there were no formal discussions on the subject.

“We are currently not considering those options,” he said, adding that there have been some talks in some countries.

“If there is a joint approach at the EU level, we will actively join those talks. At the moment, the vaccine quantities in the EU and Croatia, and more or less in the entire world, are too small for such decisions to be made. At this moment, I think it is too soon,” Božinović said.

Head of the Croatian Public Health Institute Krunoslav Capak said that from 12 to 18 January infections had dropped by 29% on a weekly basis, from 5 to 11 January.

The 14-day incidence of 288.9 new cases places Croatia in the 7th place of countries with the lowest incidence in the European Union. However, the mortality rate remains high, with Croatia ranking 8th among the EU countries with the highest mortality rate.

Capak said that a new tranche of 17,550 doses of the Pfizer vaccine had been delivered to Croatia today. Part of it will be used to administer the second shot to people who have been vaccinated.

He said that 122 suspected side effects had been reported to date, most of which had been mild, however there had also been several more severe allergic reactions.

Capak confirmed claims that Pfizer was reducing the delivery of vaccine doses, however the reason for that was the reconstruction of the vaccine production plant, the goal of which was to increase production and reach the agreed vaccine quotas.

As for Croatia, he said there is no official confirmation that vaccine deliveries will be reduced, adding that, as of 15 February, deliveries will significantly speed up.

Alemka Markotić, Head of the Zagreb Infectious Diseases Hospital Dr Fran Mihaljević, said that the lower number of new infections was reducing the pressure on the hospital system, stressing that the number of discharged patients had been exceeding the number of admitted patients in recent days.

She underscored that, despite all that, one must not ignore the situation in Europe.

“Some countries are registering a spike that occurred in a short period of time, probably due to the mutated version of the virus,” Markotic said, adding that one must be careful to avoid a third wave of the epidemic. /ibna