As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the worsening epidemiological situation in Croatia has given rise to more questions, especially given the fact that the vaccination rate is still not satisfactory and every second test in Split-Dalmatia County has been positive. While Croatia was busy extending the opening hours of its catering and hospitality establishments during the festive period, Omicron measures have been being tightened across Europe.
The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, said on HTV’s “Otvoreno/Open” show that the new strain of coronavirus, Omicron, has been being detected by sequencing, stressing that the number of people infected with Omicron will be continuously reported as the situation unfolds.
”These are still small numbers compared to what’s happening in the surrounding countries,” said Capak.
He pointed out that Croatia has so far been very successful in stopping and slowing down the arrival of new strains of the novel coronavirus, because we were the first European country to introduce a ban on foreigners coming into the country from South Africa to Croatia, and all Croatian citizens and permanent residents coming from those areas were to be quarantined.
”We had cooperation with the border police at Croatian airports. They informed us of the names and addresses of people coming here from those parts of the world. Epidemiologists immediately contacted them and quarantined them for fourteen days, and so we stopped the spread of that strain of the virus. Our figures are very favourable,” he added.
The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health said that Omicron is still not dominant in Croatia, pointing out that there are more people infected with Omicron in Dalmatian counties than there are on the continent.
The director of the Public Health Teaching Institute of Split-Dalmatia County, Zeljka Karin, emphasised that a record number of new patients in that county had been being set, and that we have to take into account that we have a huge number of tests being taken, so that share is slightly higher than fifty percent. But it was to be expected, because the Omicron variant appeared, it was the festive period in which there are more gatherings, and that all led to an increase in the number of new positive cases,” Karin reasonably said.
The director of the Public Health Institute of Split-Dalmatia County said that the number of newly infected people in Split-Dalmatia County has been quite high for several weeks now.
”It’s known that in this county there is a low vaccination rate compared to other counties across Croatia. These numbers are certainly the consequences of that,” she said. Karin also pointed out that patients in the past two or three days don’t present with a very severe clinical picture, as was the case before.
”That said, we can’t estimate what that clinical picture will be like in the future. We have an increase in hospitalisations, and we still don’t know if it’s because of Omicron or if it’s because of the Delta strain. So for now, we can’t say anything about what the clinical pictures will become, but the increase in hospitalisations is large, but so is the increase in the number of people on respirators,” Karin warned.
The head of the Istrian Civil Protection Directorate, Dino Kozlevac, pointed out that there were “consistently high numbers” of positive cases across Istria.
”The numbers have been growing since September. What’s happening? We have liberal measures, that should be said clearly and loudly. The whole of Croatia has liberal measures in relation to Europe,” he said, adding that people should make sure to properly adhere more to all current Croatian covid measures, including maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.
He added that the current situation will be assessed in the coming days, and there is a possibility that new measures for Istria will be discussed in agreement with the National Civil Protection Directorate.
The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, pointed out that the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis and Croatian covid measures are being taken accordingly, and this will be the case in the coming days, although there is nothing concrete yet to speak of. He added that the situation in other counties will be monitored on a daily basis and if the situation worsens, which can be expected due to the arrival of the Omicron strain, in that case some Croatian covid measures may well be tightened.
“Nothing is on the table at the moment,” he repeated.
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