COVID-19 in Croatia: Bus and Train Stations Closing, Intercity Lines to be Suspended

Lauren Simmonds

As Index reports on the 21st of March, 2020, the latest press conference on COVID-19 in Croatia took place this morning. We are transmitting it in English in full below:

“People, stay home. If you must, go out for a short time and then come home right away. Don’t go out!” is the main message to be taken from this morning’s press conference regarding COVID-19 in Croatia.

“Until the rules and instructions are adhered to, there is a possibility of the uncontrolled spread of the virus. I’m no longer asking you, but demanding that you abide by the instructions,” Health Minister Beros warned.

“In Split, the Spaladium arena is being prepared for the tertiary phase,” he said, before thanking the Government of the United Arab Emirates for donating many more protective equipment and masks.

“This regards local transmission. We’ve taken action. It’s certain that we will have an increased number [of positive coronavirus cases] every day. This is to be expected, and our health care system is preparing for something like that.

The main problem is the adherence to all the decisions made by the HQ. They were done in a way so that everyone adheres to them, but the facts show something else. There are minorities who are a danger to themselves and others. We’ll have to take more rigorous measures.

The Croatian police will take care that the measures are being implemented and they will respond every time their implementation is not being taken seriously. Our lives will change and more will take place indoors, as this has proven to be a necessary measure from the practices of countries that have been on the front line of the focus.

Our decisions are being based on the facts: People, stay home. Don’t leave your house unless you have to go to work. We’ve determined who the people who have to go to work are. And of course, unless you have to go to a shop or to the hospital. All employers and workers must be aware that they must organise themselves to the fullest extent possible. I saw people walking around in pairs this morning. That’s not how it’s done. Make a space between you or the police will punish you.

The Croatian police will be touring all public places throughout Croatia. All of our streets, and where they see someone failing to comply, they will respond. In fact, in some way, we’re closing down all public spaces. We cannot physically close some of them, but we won’t allow people to gather. We’re shutting down all intercity lines for trains and buses.

What is clear is that decisions will be more rigorous, they will become tougher. I urge anyone organising their business to organise themselves so that they don’t expose other people and their workers to contact,” added Beros.

All intercity transport lines are abolished. Bus and train stations will be closing.

Alemka Markotic from Zagreb’s ”Fran Mihaljevic” Clinic for Infectious Diseases then spoke:

“It’s time for us to realise that we’re not watching a film but living in reality. This morning I saw senior citizens walking around squares again. I hear about them sitting in groups on the terraces of facilities that are closed now. If we want a corona party, we’ll have it. And I think to myself… What does a corona party look like? Someone ends up as seriously ill, on a respirator or even worse?

We’re receiving an increasing number of people at the clinic. We’re being charged with everything we were warned about, so it’s all because of irresponsible people. There will only be more severe cases in the hospitals. People will have to find ways to isolate themselves inside their homes. If they can’t do that, then we’ll find a solution.

If it turns out you were in contact with someone and you are in the hospital, they will be taken care of at that same hospital initially.

Who should come to the facility about coronavirus? All those with the knowledge that they have been in contact with coronavirus suspects, those who have a high fever and who are coughing and feeling tight in the chest. There were a lot of people there tonight with some mild symptoms. Do not come if you have only mild symptoms.

Yesterday, over 100 people left self-isolation to go to pharmacies. This has now come to an end, but they have already endangered many people. Anyone who breaks isolation will be sanctioned. The punishment is not important, but you will have the fate of others on your soul,” she stated.

Krunoslav Capak from the Croatian Institute of Public Health then spoke:

“The time has come to stop everything. We’ve had 29 cases from yesterday to the present, which is 1/4 of all cases so far. Our upward curve is increasingly going up. So we have to introduce stricter measures. We have 90 people quarantined, 54 Croatian nationals, the rest are foreigners, we have 45 truck drivers who are under a special regime,”

The markets…

“If it turns out that people are coming together and social distancing cannot be maintained, we’ll close them at once.”

“People, stay at home. If you must, leave for a short time only and then return home immediately. If you violate the measures, the Croatian police are ready to do their work and protect the people.”

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling information in English about COVID-19 in Croatia.


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