Vili Beros Says There is Sense in Introducing Masks in Public in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

On a recent episode of HRT’s Dnevnik, the Minister of Health, Vili Beros, didn’t specifically reveal the possible new epidemiological measures for Croatia this autumn, but when speaking about the obligation to wear protective masks outdoors, he said that it would make sense to introduce something similar in Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of August, 2020, Minister Vili Beros emphasised that the National Civil Protection Headquarters has daily discussions on the anti-epidemic measures they must take, but they do so in constant accordance with the epidemiological situation of the time.

”At this moment in time, it isn’t possible to conclude what will happen in the autumn,” said Vili Beros. He added that the wearing of masks outdoors in the French capital of Paris is done in places where a lot of people are grouped and where no physical distance can be kept.

”It would make sense to introduce something similar in Croatia in those places where more people are grouped together, that is, on trams, in waiting areas for buses, where there are certain tourist groups, but we’ll carefully monitor the situation and bring in new measures in the way we did before,” Beros explained.

Commenting on the decline in the number of newly infected people in Croatia, ie answering the question as to whether this is a trend or a short break, Vili Beros said that it wasn’t possible to say. It was a weekend and not all family doctors were working, meaning they weren’t referring any patients for coronavirus testing, but the epidemiological service is working hard.

”It is a controlled pool and in that way the spread of the virus is prevented. So it’s possible that these measures of ours – of course, with an emphasis on personal responsibility – will indeed cause these numbers to be smaller and smaller, but it isn’t possible to conclude anything,” he said.

Beros also said that a meeting of the expert group of the crisis staff of the Ministry of Health would be held soon and that it was possible to start some training of junior doctors from the epidemiological profession so that they could join in with the field work.

The Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Split asked the National Headquarters to specify more clearly the conditions and measures that must be observed by catering and service facilities. Beros said that the National Headquarters would respond to their request and that talks should always be held. He added that people in the local community know all the specific circumstances of certain areas.

”Specifically, here at my place in Hvar, after the closing of night clubs and coffee bars, a problem arose with the grouping of young people in front of certain stores. Therefore, local employees can best notice this problem,” he noted.

As for the teaching model, Beros stressed that it would be best – if the epidemiological situation allows it – for all children to be back at school, but some other models are being prepared that may be a combination of school attendance and online teaching.

”I want to say that all of us who are participating in this process, parents, teachers, healthcare workers, but also us politicians, must look at this problem in full from all aspects and try to find the most opportune solution at that moment,” concluded Vili Beros, adding that the concept and proposal will come very soon.

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