Zero and Proud: Gorski Kotar Has No Infections Since Pandemic Beginning

Lauren Simmonds

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Gorski Kotar, Croatia
Gorski Kotar, Croatia

Not one person from the beautiful green region of Gorski Kotar has been infected with the new coronavirus in the six months since the pandemic reached Croatia. No resident or guest is infected, nor have they become infected in Gorski Kotar. Naturally, the locals are very proud of their ”zero”.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of August, 2020, back at the start of the pandemic, the levels of fear were high. The elderly population who live in Gorski Kotar, for whom the virus remains the most devastating, needed to be protected from it. Spring, quarantine, work from home and popular picnic areas have made Gorski Kotar an ideal place to escape from the crowds, which posed a danger of importing the new coronavirus.

“At the beginning, we were really concerned, at one point we had to ask all our dear guests, our friends who come from Rijeka and Zagreb not to bother, we needed to see what it was all about. When the National Civil Protection Headquarters said that they could come, we thanked them and invited them to come,” said the mayor of Fuzine, David Bregovac, in a report brought by Dnevnik Nova TV.

Preserving health was and remains the main task. Even when gatherings across the country, and especially Mass celebrations were re-approved, in Gorski Kotar, they still held on a bit longer. In recent weeks, the focus has been on young people. The number of infected people has increased due to people going to nightclubs on the Adriatic, and especially in Dalmatia. In Gorski Kotar, they have no problems with such forms of entertainment.

“We ride bikes, we play football, take care of the elderly, wear masks, and we go to the store for the elderly,” said Lorena Buric, a girl from Ravna Gora.

The border area and daily migrations of the local population who, due to their respective daily needs, cross from Slovenia into Croatia and vice versa didn’t endanger this area. The protection is double because the recommendations of epidemiologists on both sides of the Kupa are being followed.

“That’s right, the measures are respected, our dear Slovenian friends come here every day to Brod na Kupi to our store, our bakery, our hospitality facilities because they don’t have anything over there on their side,” says Davorin Klobucar, president of MO Brod na Kupi.

The proximity of the Croatian-Slovenian border has actually become a plus for Gorski Kotar

It is the proximity of the border with Slovenia that has quickly become something good for Gorski Kotar. Istria and Kvarner are the most successful Croatian regions in terms of the number of guests this season. In Gorski Kotar, from August the 1st until today, a little more than 2,900, both Croatian and foreign, have visited. Given the frequent changes in the colours of Croatia on the lists of various European countries, the proximity of the border crossings is a great relief for tourists.

“Our guests are mostly oriented to nature and to the top of Risnjak and the source of the Kupa, they want some peace and quiet, and since it is close to the Slovenian border, even if the borders are closed, they can be out of Croatia in 10 minutes and can return to their countries,” says Marko Cicavica, a local landlord.

There was one new case in Istria County yesterday, while in Primorje-Gorski Kotar, there were two newly infected people. Due to the good epidemiological picture, despite the large influx of foreigners, they are calling for the introduction of measures by region.

“Gorski Kotar is truly a godsend in the sense that it is a large area with low population density, so visitors who come don’t really change the epidemiological situation and therefore it is still coronavirus free,” says Vladimir Micovic, the director of NZJZ Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

Autumn and winter, and thus the cold season, are at the door. We now all need to make sure we’re well prepared so that the discipline and effort and also the positive experience of the first coronavirus wave don’t simply go to waste.

“The closest KBC to this part of Croatia is in Rijeka, where there are 53 respirators available for as many as three counties, which fortunately are still excellent with their coronavirus numbers. The people of Gorski Kotar hope that they will still have zero infected people by then and that there will be no need for such medical help.

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