We must be aware of the fact that there is still a large number of unvaccinated citizens who can become seriously ill, which is why Croatia cannot follow the examples of Denmark, Sweden or Great Britain, where sufficient vaccination rates allow for easing the restrictions, he said at a cabinet session.
Sharpest fall in new infections in the fifth wave
Beroš said that today Croatia had nearly 32% fewer daily new cases week on week and that this was the sharpest fall in the fifth wave of the epidemic.
In the last 24 hours, 45.81% of PCR tests and 10.69% of rapid antigen tests have come back positive.
The highest numbers of new cases have been recorded in Bjelovar-Bilogora, Šibenik-Knin and Zadar counties.
There are 57 fewer hospitalised COVID patients than yesterday and 13 fewer on ventilators.
There has been a mild fall in hospitalisations in the past few days, including fewer patients in intensive care units and on ventilators, the minister said.
To date 2,215,898 persons have been vaccinated, including 829,638 with a booster shot or 21.33% of the population.
COVID certificates continue to reduce the risk of infection spreading in hospitals, care homes and some work environments, Beroš said.
Despite sufficient vaccines and vaccination points, interest in vaccination is increasingly low, although Croatian Institute of Public Health data show that those who received a booster shot and later have been infected accounted for a mere 0.4% of the total population.
Beroš said the ministry continued to monitor the provision of all emergency medical services and that special protocols existed for oncology patients to schedule checkups.
He said the expected rise in the number of oncology patients would not bypass Croatia and that the necessary steps were being taken to deal with the problem.
“The availability of health services for vulnerable groups is our priority. Priority waiting lists are being adjusted to additionally expand the possibility of urgent diagnostics for oncology patients,” he added.
Coexisting with a virus which could stay long in the community
The head of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, Interior Minister Davor Božinović, said one could say that infection with the Omicron variant, which caused a surge in new cases and threatened to overload the health system, was decreasing.
“If such trends continue, while specially following the situation in the health system, the crisis management team will closely analyse a possible pace of easing the restrictions and creating the prerequisites for coexisting with a virus which could stay long in the community.”
It will be very important to work on the education of citizens and define recommendations for the effective protection of every individual, with emphasis on greater caution for at-risk groups, Božinović added.
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