Kaić: More than 1 Indicator Needed to Compare Epidemiological Situation in Countries

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Currently a 14-day rate of new cases in Croatia is 119 per 100,000 population with the lowest rate in Istria (30) and the highest in Split-Dalmatia county (194), Kaić told a press conference by the national COVID response team.

Kaić: We rank in the middle for number of positive cases, low level of testing

He warned  that it was not correct to compare the epidemiological situation in various countries based only on one indicator because that also depends on the testing strategy hence it is important to know how many tests are conducted per capita and the share of positive cases among those tested.

“If we observe testing, Croatia is at a low level and only three countries conduct fewer tests per capita while the percentage of positive cases ranks Croatia about in the middle of the list with a rate of 7% of positive cases in the past week,” underscored Kaić.

Professionals and media outlets are claiming that our situation is the best and they question why measures are not being relaxed. However, when observing the percentage of those tested, say in Germany, Austria and Slovenia, they have a better epidemiological picture, he said.

To data 808 cases of side effects from vaccines have been reported – 765 from Pfizer’s vaccine, 30 from Moderna’s and 13 from the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Health Minister Vili Beroš said that the decision to obtain Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine before it is registered in the EU would be made by the Croatian Agency for Medicines and Medical Equipment (HALMED) based on data of its safety and effectiveness.

Beroš: HALMED can issue temporary approval for Sputnik V vaccine

Beroš said that the Sputnik V vaccine was not procured earlier because there was no information regarding its safety and effectiveness however, more information about the vaccine has become available.

“There were not enough elements that would indicate that the Russian vaccine was safe and effective. Now we know that it has been tested on 20,000 people and that is new data,” said Beroš.

The best thing would be that any medicine that is administered in Croatia as a member of the EU is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) but that isn’t possible now because that process would take some time. It is up to HALMED then to say whether we can obtain the Russian vaccine via some urgent import.

Beroš added that reports were being received regarding vaccinations to determine whether anyone had been vaccinated out of order.

The reports will be examined by an independent commission and any irregularities will be reported to the Medical Chamber to determine disciplinary measures. If there is any suspicion of any criminal wrongdoing the case will be referred to the relevant bodies, said Beroš.

Head of the national COVID response team Davor Božinović notes that today is the second day that new relaxed anti-epidemic rules are being applied and it needs to be seen if they will impact the daily epidemiological situation and coronavirus numbers which currently are falling mildly.

Božinović: Local response teams cannot decide on relaxing measures

“Today we have 13 percent fewer cases than a week ago. If that trend continues that will provide an opportunity for new measures,” Božinović announced.

Commenting on a statement by the Istria County response team that it would relax measures as of 1 March, explaining later that it would send a request to the national team to do so, Božinović said that was the only way to do so because local response teams cannot decide to relax measures of their own accord.


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