March 17, 2020 – Croatia Health Minister Vili Beros reported at that 9 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been confirmed. The total number of cases in Croatia is 65. Details to follow later today. Four patients have recovered.
At 9:00 CET the National Civil Protection Headquarters held a press conference and provided an update the coronavirus in Croatia as reported by Index.
- Yesterday, 7 new cases were confirmed – one from Rijeka, one from Karlovac, one from Sisak and five from Zagreb, including a doctor from KBC Zagreb who returned from abroad. He is housed at the Zagreb Infectious Diseases Clinic Dr. Fran Mihaljević.
- Stricter rules for elderly and chronic patients are being introduced and the borders with Slovenia has been closed.
- Minister Beros stated that they have conducted have 1014 tests. 630 people are under health surveillane.
- More information on 9 new cases to follow later today.
“The epidemiological picture is still very good, but it is certain that the number of patients can grow. We have made sure we have an adequate number of people tested. We have opened new centres with testing capabilities. The profession has made it clear who we need to test. All this time, we are overseeing isolations and quarantines. Be responsible,” Beroš warned.
Warning to Senior Citizens
“Our concern is for the elderly and the chronic, and we urge them to stay in and only go out in an emergency. We will arrange to deliver whatever they need. The e-prescription system, it is possible to administer medications for a month. We will organize through organizations to have medications are delivered to the elderly and infirm. A health card will be required. Food delivery should be ensured – and that is what we are working on. We must look after the elderly and infirm,” Beros said.
Details on New Patients to Follow Later
Alemka Markotic said there were no seriously ill patients among the infected. She says that she has no information about the details and that she only received the number of new patients. That information will be released throughout the day, she said. There are currently 17 people at the Fran Mihaljević Clinic for Infectious Diseases, she said.
Croatia Headquarters Granted More Power
The head of the HZJZ said that more than ever we need to adhere to hygiene instructions – wash hands, avoid physical contacts and disinfect public spaces.
“WHO was not thinking of Croatia in their criticism. According to the data, we are testing more than the necessary number of patients,” Beros said. “As we announced yesterday; we have no clear signs of local transmission,” he added.
Minister Bozinovic said the government would adopt a change in the law today which would give the headquarters greater powers.
“Our decisions will be implemented across all lines of work. This means that today we will activate all civil protection headquarters so that decisions can be implemented immediately. The first decision will to try to limit the movement of the elderly; to do everything so that they do not need to leave their apartments and homes unless they have urgent needs.
Stronger Self-Isolation Controls
We will strengthen our self-isolation controls. Ninety-three people have violated these orders and will be sanctioned.
“From day one, the headquarters has done everything according to the protocol. Every measure will be enacted at the appropriate time. We must organize the system in such a way that everything is accounted for and must function. Croatia can serve as an example here, there will certainly be problems and that is why we need legal adjustments,” Bozinovic said when asked whether restricting the movement of the elderly would be a ban.
“It is not difficult to be smart now, but one always has to determine when it’s necessary to move to the next phase,” Bozinovic responded to Kalinic’s allegations (about reacting to coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak two weeks too late).
Closing Borders with Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro
Bozinovic also announced new border measures. “Cancel travel abroad, the same goes for entering Croatia. We are in contact with Slovenia and will soon close 27 border crossings with Slovenia,” the minister said.
Because of the coronavirus, border crossings with Serbia and Montenegro are closed to all but their citizens and truck drivers, HAK (Croatia Automobile Association) reports.
Follow our dedicated page on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Croatia and watch for our daily update at 14:00 CET.