COVID-19 in Croatia, Zagreb Earthquake Morning Press Conference Update, March 22, 2020

Total Croatia News




March 22, 2020 – The latest news about the spread of COVID-19 in Croatia, as well as the Zagreb earthquake from the morning press conference. 

Yesterday’s rolling update of the coronavirus in Croatia was fully updated late last night. You can see the full day’s events here.

There are two recommended maps to follow. The first is the official government one on the website.


This is broken down by country in terms of numbers, and Health Minister Vili Beros has announced 29 new cases overnight, bringing the number to 235, of which 5 have recovered. The locations of the new cases will be made available later today.


The other is by Index, which breaks everything down by destination. Of the two, in general, I find Index is updated quicker. Index reports one death, while the government site reports none. The reason for this difference is the death of a restaurant owner in Istria which was announced as coronavirus, is still being confirmed by official sources before going on the official website. It has been counted in the global numbers by respected sources.

11:52: The Office of Emergency Management has organized meals for all citizens who cannot return to their homes.

Meals will be available after 1 pm at the following locations:

– Zrinjevac
– Mazuranic Square
– Dr. Franjo Tudjman Square

Teams of construction experts are evaluating the damage to buildings by priority, and after inspections will mark buildings visibly. Please note that construction professionals are working specifically to assess post-earthquake damage.

“Please, strictly obey the markings and do not risk entering the building!”

11:35: Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic urged residents who live in buildings with reinforced concrete structures to return to their homes after the earthquakes this morning. They will decide how to care for those whose buildings are unsafe.

“Eighty percent of Zagreb residents live in structures that have reinforced concrete structures, and I ask them to return to their homes. There would have to be a double earthquake to demolish these buildings. That has never happened in history,” Bandic said.

11:23: The Parliament building has been heavily damaged. No one can go inside without the permission of the relevant services.

11:17: The National Civil Protection Headquarters has decided to limit the opening hours of stores operating from Sunday, March 22, from 8am to 5pm.

11:04: City of Zagreb firefighters recorded 35 interventions involving 161 firefighters. These were fires that were successfully extinguished, and firefighters continue to participate in technical interventions that include rescuing people who are trapped in collapsed buildings and elevators, and removing chimneys and other objects that endanger citizens’ lives. There are 57 volunteer fire companies in the City of Zagreb on alert, and the commander-in-chief of the fire department issued an order for firefighters from the Zagreb County Fire Department to be on standby.

10:58: “We met with seismologists to see the situation and to determine the course of action. I appeal for citizens to be calm and keep composure. Twice a day you will receive information from the National Headquarters,” said Minister Radman.

He condemned the spread of panic and inaccuracy about new major earthquakes. “Listen to the instructions!” 

10:55: Franjo Tudjman Airport reported:

“We would like to inform you that, in these unexpected circumstances, all of Franjo Tudjman’s airport duty staff responded in accordance with procedures, taking into account that safety and security of passengers were a priority and evacuated passengers from the passenger terminal at the time of the earthquake. It has been determined that there is no damage to the building itself or to the runway and other maneuvering areas. After operating systems are set up, we expect to have traffic established after 10:30 am, as scheduled,” they said.

10:50: 3 more cases of COVID-19 virus have been reported in Split-Dalmatia County, which now makes the total number of 10 patients. They all feel good and are in stable condition. All contacts of newcomers are put into self-isolation and processed.

There are 56 persons quarantined: 32 of whom are Croatian nationals and 24 are foreign nationals.
The number of people in self-isolation is increasing due to the contacts of diseased persons who also have a measure of self-isolation.

10:45: The Coronavirus is more of a challenge than the earthquake, according to the crisis headquarters, said Interior Minister and Head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters Davor Bozinovic.

“On behalf of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia, I can guarantee that we will continue communication as we have hitherto, and in the crisis with the coronavirus, which is still ongoing and which in our estimations is a bigger challenge, and in this one with the earthquake,” Bozinovic said.

10:36: In Istria, three more people have been infected with coronavirus and 26 patients are currently hospitalized at the Pula hospital, the County Civil Protection Headquarters announced today. Of the 18 samples taken on Saturday from a sample of persons from the Istria County who were sent to the Infectious Diseases Clinic “Dr. Fran Mihaljević”, three were positive for coronavirus.

10:35: An aftershock felt at 10:13 was magnitude 3.3. It was felt most strongly in the eastern part of the city.

10:30: A total of 11 people have contracted coronavirus disease in Karlovac County, three newly diagnosed people have been in contact since before and the epidemiological processing of their contacts is underway.

“For now, we have no information that anyone is developing a more severe clinical picture,” said epidemiologist Biserka Hranilovic.

10:27: The director of the Croatian Emergency Medicine Institute, Maja Grba-Bujevic, appealed to citizens who took to the streets this morning for the Zagreb earthquake, to dress appropriately and keep themselves out of the cold and to keep distance from each other to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.

10:25: A strong earthquake hit twice Sunday in the Krapina-Zagorje County area, with the largest property damage reported in the municipalities of Gornja Stubica and Donja Stubica, said Mayor Zeljko Kolar.

“According to the information provided by the Mayor of Donja Stubica, we have two houses that have suffered and the families will have to move. There are four in Gornja Stubica for now,” Kolar said.

10:23: The European Commission said on Sunday it is monitoring the situation in Croatia after the Zagreb earthquake and is ready to help.

“We are closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Croatia after the earthquake in Zagreb.

“Our Emergency Response Coordination Center is in contact with the Croatian authorities. We are ready to help,” said Crisis Commissioner Janez Lenarcic.

10:06: The quake has no effect on the coronavirus, said Interior Minister and Head of the National Civil Protection Headquarters Davor Bozinovic, urging citizens to keep a distance. The minister urged citizens who came out after the earthquake to keep a distance of at least three meters to prevent the spread of coronaviruses.

10:05: The army took to the streets.

“They are all in operation. I gave the order to bring in the Croatian Armed Forces, we are available to assist the city of Zagreb. Our task is, as part of the homeland security, to help our citizens when it is most difficult,” said the Ministry of Defense.

10:01: “The most important thing at this point is to listen to the Government and the Headquarters. Listen to the news of those in charge. They exist because of situations like this, you can ignore everything else,” President Zoran Milanovic said.

“The quake was 5.5 magnitude, the strongest in the last 140 years,” said Prime Minister Plenkovic.

“There is a lot of damage. We urge citizens to exercise caution. We recommend that you stay in front of the buildings for the time being,” Plenkovic said. You can read the full press conference here.

10:00: A15-year-old child is in critical condition.

Goran Roic, the director of the Klaiceva Children’s Hospital, said on Sunday that the 15-year-old is in a very critical condition and is undergoing additional diagnostics.

“The child is very, very critical, but we are still doing further and doing everything we can,” Roic told N1.

09:53: The Zagreb Office for Emergency Situations has urged citizens not to enter damaged buildings following three earthquakes in the capital on Sunday morning. 

“After the earthquakes in Zagreb this morning, we are informing citizens not to enter the damaged buildings. Teams of construction experts are coming to the scene, who will prioritize damage assessment of buildings and mark buildings according to the assessment. The priority is hospitals and later all other buildings. 

In addition, teams of construction workers have been hired to clean roads and corridors,” they reported.

“There is also a Special Search and Rescue Civil Protection Unit on the ground, and it is starting to work. All general-purpose Civil Protection units are invited to report to their assembly sites and take on tasks.

NO Krško is not damaged and the electricity supply is normalized and the failures are not large. Unfortunately, we cannot know when and what the subsequent earthquakes will be, but according to seismologists, they should not be stronger than the first earthquake.

We ask all citizens to remain calm and follow the notices of official sources. We ask all citizens to respect the coronavirus-related social distance recommendations in this situation as well,” they said.

09:43 The Civil Protection again urged citizens to keep the necessary clearance even in these extraordinary conditions to prevent the spread of coronaviruses.

“We know you are scared, you feel fear and discomfort. Despite the intense emotions and fear that has arisen, we urge you to keep the required gap in these extraordinary conditions,” the Civil Protection Directorate announced.

09:39: There was another earthquake, this time of 3.0 magnitude.

09:38: Contrary to initial reports that a 15-year-old child was the first victim of an earthquake in Zagreb, the child has apparently been resuscitated and is fighting for his life 

09:33: Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic told citizens of Zagreb this morning to keep their distance.

“I repeat, keep your distance. Do not cluster. We are dealing with two serious crises in parallel, an earthquake and an epidemic. There are protocols when it comes to earthquakes, but when it comes to an earthquake and an epidemic, it is a more complicated situation, we have to make the right decisions for the benefit of all of us,”  Bozinovic said.

For the latest update from the official government website for COVID-19 in Croatia, click here (Croatian language only, Google Translate is your friend).

We will have more in our comprehensive daily update later. For the latest news on COVID-19 in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

For the latest TCN coverage of the Zagreb earthquake, follow the dedicated TCN section


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