Speaking at a press conference, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said the organisation of Wednesday’s funeral was in the remit of the city civil protection authority, adding that “perhaps more people (came) than even the city authorities expected.”
He said no incidents were reported to the police and that it was up to civil protection inspectors to establish the circumstances and take action if necessary, and if so, to do it “in the shortest time possible.”
Asked if revoking the regulation under which only 25 people were allowed at funerals was being considered, Božinović said there were deviations from every restriction, in which case action was taken, including penalties.
He said the Civil Protection Directorate told him that no one had intervened yet to prevent more than 25 people from attending a funeral.
As for restricting the large night gatherings of young people in Zagreb, he said the civil protection, municipal services and the police cooperated in such cases and that a course of action was a matter of tactics.
The message is that people should refrain from such gatherings, which are one way in which coronavirus spreads, Božinović said, adding that bars with outdoor terraces were now open again and they could sit there.
He went on to say that 459 attempts had been made to enter Croatia with a false PCR test, most of them in Vukovar-Srijem County. He said this was punishable with up to three years in prison.
The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, said at the press conference that the rise in new infections was up 15.7% on a weekly basis and that positive tests were also up, today by 10.9%.
Speaking of the Russian COVID vaccine, he said the European Medicines Agency had begun to assess it and that intervention import was still an option for Croatia.
Capak said that persons who received both doses of a COVID vaccine need not self-isolate if they were in contact with an ill person. “As for a Croatian strain, there is no confirmation of it.”
Health Minister Vili Beroš said at the press conference that the weekly rise in new infections and the presence of new variants of the virus were a reminder “that the response to the epidemic is far from over.”
“We must keep working on increasing vaccine availability and consider the beginning of the assessment of the Russian vaccine. That paves the way for procuring one more vaccine in Croatia,” he added.
Beroš said a high vaccination rate could ensure a successful summer tourist season, but added that personal responsibility remained paramount.
To date 46,635 people have registered for vaccination online and 3,596 by calling a toll-free number. Most of them are aged 39-54, so Beroš appealed to older citizens to register too.
Beroš also said that talks with representatives of wholesale drug suppliers would resume next week to see how to settle hospitals’ and pharmacies’ debts.
He also commented on a statement he made before Bandić’s funeral, when he said “the virus is not a champion of the long jump.” He said he was talking about a funeral at which COVID restrictions were complied with and that the media later used it in the context of Bandić’s funeral. “That statement was not appropriate, but it was about another event.”