Health Minister Vili Beros Answers Questions about Coronavirus

Daniela Rogulj

April 2, 2020 – Health Minister Vili Beros answered questions about the coronavirus on N1 television Thursday morning. reports:

“We are evaluating the situation day by day, the figures are sometimes like this, sometimes the same, but we still recommend that everyone adhere to the measures. I expect the numbers to get better if we adhere to the measures and if there are no extraordinary circumferences,” Vili Beros said.

Vili Beros spoke more about the measures.

“The pandemic curve is linear, which gives us optimism. But there must be no looseness. You saw how many patients flew in from Turkey.

Personally, I don’t like talking about loosening measures; it’s not okay to announce it now. We need to be strictly focused on self-care and hygiene measures. Only when we are without new cases or fewer patients for 5 to 7 days can we think about loosening measures.

We never ran excessively and acted with rigorous measures.”

What might be the first measures?

“One is staying out outside, and the other is economic activity. At this point, we are thinking about how markets can function and follow directions. We are often thinking about how we can enable something and have everyone adhere to the measures. We will always base our estimates on the expert views.”

Travel recommendations

“I recommend that the Croats refrain from traveling for Easter. Everyone should stay where they are, because there are restrictions. I recommend traveling only in exceptional situations.”

25 people died from the flu this year. Even a child. Why the restrictions for the coronavirus?

“The thesis is unfounded. The fact is that flu is a disease that has been present for decades, some of it has immunity, and there is a vaccine.

Comparing this with a new disease where the population has no immunity and no vaccine, that is the reason for the measures. So I think the measures are fine. Italy and America are the best examples.

It’s okay for everyone to have their say, but I urge that those opinions be grounded. It does not occur to me to make expert comments about something that is not my profession.

It’s good for everyone to have their say, but it should still be fact-based.

Speaking physically, more people will suffer from the coronavirus than from economic problems.

If the truth is accessible to all, it is easier to deal with the problem. Very early on, psychologists and psychiatrists were involved in all of this, self-isolation inevitably leaves some trace. All of this is understandable.”

When could a pandemic end globally?

“I would hate to delve into the elaborations of this; there are numerous theses. I hope the virus will be seasonal, but it is impossible to predict how it will behave. We have to be ready for anything.

If it acts like most other respiratory viruses, it could be back in late fall, but I wouldn’t talk about it because we don’t know yet.”

How does government scientific advice work?

“I welcome the idea of inviting our scientists to participate in all this. A smaller expert team has been formed in the ministry to keep track of all the new information about the coronavirus, gathering important data that can show us how to fight the virus.”

Who could get the vaccine first, America, China, or another country?

“It’s tough for me to comment on that.”

Does the health care system suffer?

“We function in a different mode. The Ministry of Health issued instructions concerning the functioning of the system, the restructuring of the system… An additional problem was the earthquake that moved the building of the clinic in Jordanovac, the same thing happened in Petrova; all of these clinics are returning slowly into normal operation mode. Controls must be carried out but under different conditions.”

About testing

“We have already said that there will be an increase in the number of tests by healthcare professionals. We are expanding our testing capacity. For example, Osijek will be able to test 250 people a day for now. We are in contact with WHO leaders to confirm which quick tests are in order. The results must be accurate. Testing is important, but self-isolation is even more important. You can test someone today and it may be negative, but tomorrow may already be positive. Testing is important, but measures of handwashing and distancing, are far more important than testing.”

How long is a person infected with the virus?

“Most often, symptoms begin to appear within 5 to 7 days. When a patient develops symptoms, that is, according to new information, one day before, it is contagious to the environment.”

Recommendations for people with lower immunity

“For them, for the elderly, chronically ill, and cancer patients, extreme caution is worth it. If you can, do not leave your home.”

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