Vesna Visekruna Vucina from the Croatian Institute of Public Health was a recent guest on New Day, where the situation with Croatian PCR tests and the spread of Omicron was discussed.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the increase in the number of infected people, Vucina says, was due to the recent Christmas and New Year festive gatherings, but also due to the nature of this variant of the novel virus itself.
When asked about the level of public interest in vaccination, she said: “This is mostly to do with booster doses. As we’ve already seen, when there’s such a sharp increase in the number of patients, a certain number of people do decide to be vaccinated with their first dose, but people are afraid of large numbers. Vaccination is growing towards higher age groups, it is highest in the age group of 70 to 74 years. However, the elderly are still not vaccinated sufficiently enough,”
“Vaccination protects against more severe forms of the disease developing. Over 70 percent of those hospitalied with more severe clinical pictures are not vaccinated,” she told N1.
On what to expect in the next two weeks, Vucina said that we have already seen in previous waves that there will now be many people who will become so unwell that they’ll need to be hospitalised. “It is to be expected that this wave will continue, but it is difficult to say what we can expect,” she warned.
Regarding the epidemiological measures that are currently in force and the introduction of new ones, she said: “It would be desirable to adhere to the already existing measures, those that have been recommended since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. We’d like to urge people to get vaccinated because in combination with basic measures and vaccination, there is little risk of developing a more severe form of the disease,” she added.
Croatian PCR tests and their waiting times…
There are a huge number of people coming to testing points at this moment in time, and the system is struggling to keep up with it.
“There will probably be an increase in capacity given the huge demand for testing. People who have a more severe form or pronounced symptoms have in some way an advantage over those who are asymptomatic. Most unvaccinated people who want to do a PCR test do so in order to get a covid certificate,” she said.
“People can take a test at home if they have suspicions or have been in contact with someone infected. It’s hard to predict what will unfold when you see new strains of a virus emerge. It’s difficult to know what will happen with the mutation of the virus. It’s necessary to get vaccinated, to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus to an absolute minimum,” she noted.
“Just because someone is young is at lower risk of developing complications, doesn’t mean we can be absolutely sure that there will be no complications. We don’t yet know what kind of clinical picture Omicron causes,” she said, adding that research suggesting a milder clinical picture had been done in younger people and that the typical therapy and treatment were the same as for Delta-infected people.
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