Coronavirus Croatia: Journalist Details Self Isolation After Japan Return

Total Croatia News


March 4, 2020 – Ivan Buča, a journalist for 24 Sata, is currently under medical supervision in Croatia, after returning home from Japan, because of the coronavirus outbreak there. There are currently over 2000 people under supervision in Croatia, with some complaining that they feel harassed and stigmatized.

*Follow this article for live updates and this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. An archive of updates can be found hereContact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.

“What’s up, friend? You’re a coronaš now, eh?”

This message was an attempt to cheer me up by a ‘witty’ friend after learning that I was in home isolation because I had just returned from Japan. Unfortunately for my friend, I am not a ‘coronaš’ because I don’t have any symptoms of the disease.

Croatia Journalist Under Supervision After Japan Return

But since Japan was added to the list of countries last week where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not recommend travel to, if not necessary, due to the coronavirus outbreak; I have been put under medical supervision for 14 days, Ivan Buča wrote for 24 Sata on March 3, 2020.

I am like many people who have returned from China, Korea, the affected areas of northern Italy in recent days…

The Ministry issued a travel advisory for Japan in the middle of my one-week visit to that country, where I was staying with about 20 other Croatians. On the same day, the Japanese Prime Minister decided that all schools and kindergartens would be closed for a month, and museums would shut their doors for two weeks. We were immediately aware that, upon returning home, we would be subject to expanded screenings at the airport and would be placed under medical supervision.

“Look at the bright side. At least we won’t have to go to work,” some of my companions were cheering as we tried to dispel the discomfort of returning to Croatia by sharing various memes about the coronavirus (and there are some hilarious ones) on the plane.

Because after following the news from the homeland about empty shelves in shops, disguised protective masks and empty stands in HNL (Croatian First Football League) stadiums, we thought we would surely come home to a zombie apocalypse. Therefore, we might face the danger of someone firing upon us upon leaving the airport because we’ve come from the “corona zone”.

Then we remembered that the stadiums in the HNL were empty and virus-free, so we didn’t feel so anxious.

“Easy for you. I work for foreigners. When I tell him that I must stay home, it will only make my e-mails even harder,” our guest worker has been inconsolable throughout the flight.


Customs | Franjo Tuđman Airport – Zagreb

Zagreb Airport Border Inspector: Report to Epidemiologist

After landing in Zagreb at the airport on Sunday, there were shared mixed feelings of immense happiness and uncertainty. Immeasurable happiness because, after almost 20 hours of flying, we can finally go to a normal toilet, and uncertainty because we know that we will not be able to leave the airport so easily.

As soon as we stepped off the plane, we headed to the counter of the Senior Border Inspector. There we were told that we would have to fill out the required forms first and then wait.

With all the praiseworthy efforts Croatia is making to curb the spread of the coronavirus, having only one sanitary inspector at the airport appears to be inadequate for the arrivals of large groups of passengers. And even the hand sanitizer fluid on the same counter would be out of the question.

But we patiently filled out the necessary forms – where we had been, where we were going, what we were doing, whether we were in contact with someone who was ill, did we have any symptoms…

At the counter, we also noticed brochures about the coronavirus, which were translated into Chinese, as well as several other flyers for travellers.

The coronavirus may currently be the “star” among infectious diseases, but it is not the only one that is dangerous, so there were also instructions about controlling the spread of the African swine fever.

About an hour later, we received a series of medical surveillance decisions “on suspicion of SARS-CoV-2” (the official name of the virus), ordering us to immediately contact an epidemiologist on duty, by phone or in person, as soon as we arrive.

Epidemiologist: Expect 14 Days in Home Isolation

The epidemiologist on duty, after finding out that I had no symptoms and that as far as I could tell I had not been in contact with someone who was infected, explained to me that I awaited 14 days in home isolation, which meant that I may not go to work, a grocery store, coffee shop or any other public place. I simply must stay home for 14 days.

Since the sanitary inspector’s decision states that I will be fined for violating of health surveillance order; I looked up the penalties in the Law on the Protection of the People from Infectious Diseases. A real trifle – up to 5000 HRK (668 EUR) for per person.

That, in my opinion, is enough reason to comply with the decision. As for members of my household, it is my obligation to make sure that I do not cough or sneeze and that I isolate myself from them as much as possible. As I have no symptoms, there is no sneezing or coughing.

How to Self Isolate | Good Morning Britain

2400 Croatians Under Surveillance or Self Isolation

The epidemiologist on duty gave me contact information area epidemiologists, categorized according to address of residence. I need to check in with them on the phone every day during those two weeks and describe my health condition. If, God forbid, symptoms occur, I must call them immediately and without delay. It is estimated that more than 2400 people are currently under surveillance or self-isolation in Croatia.

Some have complained that this environment insults them and stigmatizes them as ‘carriers’, so it is important to emphasise that being monitored and self-isolated does not mean that these people are ill – but that they are behaving responsibly, to appease their immediate and wider relatives, work colleagues and neighbours based upon the fact that they were in countries where the virus has spread.

And so, during my first two days of home isolation, I appropriately contacted epidemiologists with my health information.

Presently, jet lag is my most troublesome symptom, which makes me wake up at two in the morning without fail because my body clock is still on “Japanese time”.

Journalist Spends Isolation Watching TV: Soccer, Eurosong

Since much can be learned from health-conscious Japanese, I have applied some of their theories of healthy living. More than ever, I make sure I drink enough fluid and eat lots of fruit. Although I have no symptoms, I also take my temperature, because what is safe is safe.

And how do you make the time pass in home isolation? Well, writing texts is always an option. I haven’t yet seen last year’s hit series “Chernobyl”, so I think it’s somehow appropriate to address this now during this cataclysmic period.

While I was in Japan, Croatia had also consumed by the Dora virus, or the big “hateful” choice of a Croatian song for Eurosong. So, after returning to my own ears and eyes, I had to get acquainted with the musical and visual expressions of every participant. After watching all the performances, I realized that it would be better if I had skipped it because some performances will haunt me in dreams and nightmares.

And in the absence of sporting events, even those empty HNL grandstands from the perspective of home isolation seem tempting. And thank heaven for the televised dual of eternal rivals NK Lokomotiva and Slaven Belupo!

Coronavirus Health Surveillance: About Protecting Yourself and Others

All jokes aside, a level of health surveillance is essential and necessary, as much as it may seem to some to be a hassle. It is equally important to take care of my own and others’ health. If I have learned anything in Japan, it is that they are the champions of caring for their own health and the health of others. They approach these difficult situations with a serious dose of caution, and without panic.

So, wash your hands well and preferably with soap and water, not ash, as the all-knowing epidemiologist (Zagreb Mayor) Bandić advised. Use hand sanitizer and cover your mouth sneezing or coughing and act responsibly.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

On Tuesday March 3, 2020; the ninth case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Croatia. This is a young man from Varaždin who returned from Milan on February 24. The Croatia Border Inspection put him under surveillance and he’s now in the hospital.

What is Isolation?

For those who are ill: Complete quarantine or isolation refers to patients with coronavirus who are under controlled conditions in hospitals. They are completely isolated from the outside world, which means that they eat in the same space, but also go to the bathroom in the same space. That also has a protocol (before going to the bathroom, a certain agent must be poured into the bowl, and it is necessary to wait 10 minutes before flushing the toilet). This procedure was already reported by the twins, who were first in Croatia to be infected with the coronavirus.

What is Self-Isolation?

Sanitary Guidelines: Self-isolation is usually imposed upon people after a border inspection. We learned from the Professional Association of Drivers and Carriers that a certificate with instructions on self-isolation is issued at the border. These people can go to their homes. HZJZ Director Doctor Capak said such a person should not have contact with other people if possible.

Should you self isolate? | Good Morning Britian

What is Health Surveillance?

Reporting to an epidemiologist: Everyone who has been in the area affected by the spread of the infection is provided with guidance on health surveillance which can be active or passive. With active surveillance, epidemiologists personally call people on the phone and check for any symptoms (even the lowest fever, cough, snoring). Passive surveillance means that they must report to epidemiologists once a day on their own.

*Follow this article for live updates and this page for updates from Total Croatia News on the coronavirus in Croatia. An archive of updates can be found hereContact numbers for epidemiologists, travel advisories and measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus can be found here.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment