Alemka Markotic: Situation With Coronavirus is Different Now

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of August, 2020, just a couple of days ago, with 219 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus, Croatia recorded a record number of new cases, and the number of citizens being tested for coronavirus is increasing. The director of the ”Dr. Fran Mihaljevic” Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Alemka Markotic, explained for Dnevnik Nova TV that the increased number of new cases is mostly not the result of an increased number of tests.

”We test as needed. People recognise when they need to test more and they accordingly. The situation is definitely different now. In the first phase, we had few patients and few asymptomatics, so we went in part to test those with clinical indications and those who had close contacts. Now there are many more asymptomatic and with mild symptoms, but people are aware that they are returning to their families, so they themselves go more for testing,” explained Alemka Markotic.

She pointed out that the prices of tests have dropped compared to the amount they once costed in the spring, so now people can be tested on their own initiative. “We can provide the lowest price of 501 kuna. If people suspect that they have been in risky situations or if they have extremely mild symptoms, for which their doctor believes that they don’t have to get a referral, they can come for testing, and they can also come for an assessment,” explained Alemka Markotic.

“There is a lot of pressure on both the city and the state public health institute. The clinic currently tests 250 to 300 people a day, mostly people from hospitals. It definitely has enough capacity, we have the largest device that can test up to 1400 samples, we can cover some tourists and some citizens,” she assured.

When it comes to Slovenia, which has announced that it will put Croatia on the red list, Alemka Markotic says that there are still many tourists staying in Croatia from Slovenia. “Their general impression is that they are safe in Croatia. Look at the amount of these people, if you realise that there were 300,000 people, about 50 of them got sick, that’s nothing compared to that number,” she said.

When asked what kind of winter awaits us, Alemka Markotic said that today there are currently more patients with milder symptoms. “In the winter, we’ll have to deal with the situation much more seriously,” she said, adding that the health system is preparing for that.

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