Bozinovic, Beros: No Epidemiological Violations at Tudjman Funeral, Youth Parties

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Addressing a news conference held by the national coronavirus crisis management team, Božinović said that this past weekend, police received reports about students gathering outside the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, in the city’s Jarun recreational park, and outside the nearby Sava student dorm, after which they went to those locations but did not find any violation of epidemiological restrictions or elements of offences or misdemeanors.

Police acted preventatively at the Sava student dorm to avert non-compliance with restrictions, after which those who gathered there started to disperse, he said.

Božinović said the national COVID-19 response team considered the events as a consequence of the current epidemiological situation having lasted almost a year, but warned that the danger remained until the health minister proposed that the government declare the epidemic over.

He reiterated that Croatia had the most liberal restrictions compared to other EU members with which it was managing to lower the number of new infections, and noted that many more businesses would be closed if restrictions were adopted at EU level.

Božinović said that he did not think that the young people who gathered over the weekend posed a bigger epidemiological risk than other events that had not been reported about.

He expressed hope that despite the duration of the epidemic, one was entering a period when, with the right application of restrictions, vaccination and warmer weather, the psychosocial aspect of the situation would improve because Croatia was registering increasingly favourable trends.

Minister: Funeral organised in line with epidemiological rules

Health Minister Vili Beroš commented on the funeral of HDZ MP Miroslav Tuđman, which was attended by more than the prescribed 25 people, which caused the revolt of young people who over the weekend organised gatherings at the HNK, the Sava student dorm and Jarun.

He said that the company operating city cemeteries had organised the funeral in line with the anti-epidemic measures in force.

“There were several restricted areas to allow for the attendance of the allowed number of people – family members, officials and Croatian Army members. There were designated areas for attendees, with the prescribed distance between them,” the minister said.

“There were people in charge of keeping order at the event and many people were prevented from attending. We trusted the company in charge of city cemeteries and the way the event was organised was not bad,” said the minister.

He also said that the government planned the revitalisation of the Institute of Immunology and that an interdepartmental task force would present its concept to the government in a month’s time.

HZJZ head: AstraZeneca vaccine efficient, safe, tested correctly

The head of the Public Health Institute, Krunoslav Capak, said that the AstraZeneca vaccine was efficient and safe and had been correctly tested and that the European Medicines Agency had approved it for all citizens above 18.

Several EU countries have recommended not using the vaccine to inoculate people older than 65 and their argument is that there is no sufficient evidence to prove that the vaccine is efficient for that age group. Our argument is that the vaccine is efficient, safe and has been tested correctly as well as that it has been approved by the EMA for people above the age of 18, said Capak.

As for the Russian Sputnik vaccine, he said that if necessary, one would consider the possibility of emergency imports but that there was no such decision for the time being.

Capak said that 2,953 people had become infected over the past week, 14% down from the previous week, and that incidence in Croatia was the lowest in Istria County and the highest in Split-Dalmatia County.

In terms of incidence, we are fifth in the EU, four countries are better than us – Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece and Finland, said Capak.

The situation is good and there are probably no new virus strains in the country which spread 30-40% faster, said Capak.

He noted that so far 99,593 doses of the vaccine had been applied and that 629 reports of side-effects had been submitted, of which 612 referred to the Pfizer vaccine and 17 to the Moderna vaccine. No side-effect was serious.

Capak also noted that there was no danger that those who got vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine would not get the second dose.

Asked about the efficiency of the vaccine in the context of the South African strain of coronavirus, epidemiologist Bernard Kaić said that there were indications that it was less efficient but added that no vaccine was 100% efficient, however, they all protected against severe forms of the disease.

Kaić also stressed that there was no medical reason why someone should not get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He noted that it was better to vaccinate everyone with a 70% efficient vaccine by spring than with a 90% efficient vaccine by autumn.

Croatia has the infrastructure and people to do the genome sequencing of the new virus strains and it is preparing for it, it was said at the news conference.

For the latest on coronavirus in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section


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