End of Pandemic

Katarina Anđelković

Updated on:

May 12, 2023 – The decision to declare the end of epidemics is based on the knowledge that Covid is no longer a public health threat of international importance, as well as on the fact that we have a favorable epidemiological situation and a drop in new cases of 40 percent in a week, we have a drop in testing, hospitalizations, and people on ventilators are almost because 70 percent of the adult population was vaccinated and in some way acquired immunity, many people got over it and a protective immunity was created in the population, said the director of HZJZ Krunoslav Capak, adding that the fact that the end of the epidemic was declared not means that you don’t need to be careful because the virus is still among us.

The last measure that was in force, writes 24Sata, the one on wearing masks in health and social institutions, is hereby repealed. Now it remains, Capak pointed out, at the level of recommendation. Mandatory isolation and self-isolation are also abolished, except in the case of hospitalized patients or those in Nursing Homes.

– The diagnosis and treatment of Covid remains as it was, with the fact that there is no longer mandatory isolation, wearing masks is no longer mandatory, but it is still recommended for all healthcare institutions, staff, patients and visitors, as well as for social systems because there found by elderly people, people with chronic diseases and immunocompromised. Precautions are still needed. Isolation is mandatory for patients who have been diagnosed with Covid and are in hospital or placed in nursing homes. For them, isolation is valid for five days, after which they should wear a mask until the tenth day. It is the same for employees in hospitals, especially for those who work with seriously ill and immunocompromised people. And everyone else is recommended to wear a mask for 10 days. They can practice isolation, but if they don’t, it is recommended that they wear a mask – he said, adding that testing when entering health facilities and admission to nursing homes is still recommended.

– Likewise for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that generate an aerosol. What is new is that hospital commissions are given the right to prescribe stricter or weaker measures according to their local situation. In case the situation changes, we will see further in agreement with the Ministry of Health – he pointed out.

Summary of three pandemic years: ‘It’s easy to be a general after a battle, whoever works makes mistakes’
Summarizing these three years of the pandemic and asked if they think from this perspective that they did everything right or maybe in some situations they went too far, Capak said that at the beginning they did not know what was waiting for them because they did not know the virus.

– It was a completely new virus, we didn’t know anything about it and it surprised us in many situations. We, of course, in accordance with the knowledge we had and consultation with colleagues from all over the world, adopted measures as others had adopted them, they were classic epidemiological measures, we had no medicine, no vaccine. We hoped that it would be better when the vaccine arrived, unfortunately, it was a big disappointment because we expected that the protection would still be somewhat higher. However, it protected against severe forms of disease and saved many lives – he said, adding that given the number of unknowns, they always adopted measures in good faith that balanced between the protection of life and the development of social and economic life.

– Of course, because we didn’t know many things, some mistakes happened. At the beginning, we thought that the disease spreads much more through contact, so we disinfected things and kept them in quarantine, but as soon as we found out, we canceled that. So, we monitored the situation the whole time, adopted the measures that we could at that moment to be the most protective , and the least harmful – he said.

Capak points out that they worked well at the beginning, but that later there were certain problems because, he says, they got tired.

– We always made sure that children went to school if it was possible, that the economy was working, traffic was running and everything else. At the moment when we felt that we had to adopt stronger measures so that our hospitals would not be filled, then we adopted stricter measures – he added.

It is easy to be a general after a battle, said Minister of Health Vili Beroš.

– Within the framework of the health system, we had to quickly reform and adapt to new circumstances, and we showed a really great flexibility of the system in responding to these challenges. I was in charge of the health response with support from the profession and in a very short period of time we implemented a primary-intensivist-respiratory center, adapted a large hospital with new installations, virus partitions, oxygen supplies, you remember the military camp in front of the hospital… We did everything to let’s ensure that the Italian scenario is avoided – he said, stressing that the most important thing is that in these three years, great knowledge has been acquired to respond to similar threats in the future.

To the journalist’s reminder about the opening of borders before the elections, statements about the victory of the corona virus in the first wave, double standards, Beroš says – whoever works, he also makes mistakes.

– If it is with the best intentions, without any obvious consequences, I think that it can be understood in some way. You mention the elections – at a time when the epidemiological situation was absolutely satisfactory. History will judge our activities – he added.

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