Most existing epidemiological restrictions will remain in force.
One of the changes is that it will be possible to change the maximum allowed number of attendees at cultural events through recommendations by the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ), without waiting for a decision by the national COVID-19 response team, and outdoor sports competitions will be allowed as well, the team’s head, Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, said.
Restrictions regarding gatherings, passenger transport, shops’ working hours and border crossing will be extended until 31 March and a decision on that will take effect on 13 March, said Božinović.
As for decisions at the local level, restrictions will be extended in Dubrovnik-Neretva County while COVID-19 response teams in counties with a marked increase in the number of new infections will be expected to propose restrictions in line with the local situation.
Share of positive tests 13.8%; Inoculation with AstraZeneca vaccine continues
Croatia today reported 823 new infections of 5,945 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, the percentage of positive tests being 13.8%. The average age of those who have died is 77.5 years and the youngest person was 62, Assistant Health Minister Vera Katalinić-Janković said.
HZJZ head Krunoslav Capak warned that the number of new infections this week was 26% higher than last week.
“Istria County has the lowest incidence, and Dubrovnik-Neretva County the highest. As for the seven-day incidence, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County is at the top, however, epidemiologists say that there are no major hot spots there but rather a lot of small hot spots due to socialising,” said Capak.
He also pointed to an increase in the share of positive cases in the number of tests done, which today was 13.8%.
Commenting on reported side effects of the vaccines, he said most reports referred to the Pfizer vaccine, 898, followed by AstraZeneca’s vaccine, 337, and Moderna’s, 81.
Despite the fact that in some EU countries inoculation with AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been suspended, Croatia will continue using the vaccine.
Capak said that the AstraZeneca vaccine Croatia obtained was not from the same series as that obtained by Austria and 15 other EU countries. Countries that have discontinued inoculation with that vaccine have done so until the reported side effects are investigated, he said.
“If it is established that the thromboembolisms reported are not related to the vaccine, countries that have suspended vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue the vaccination process. Croatia did not receive that vaccine series… and will continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
He also commented on an announcement that the deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be much smaller than agreed.
“We were to receive 19,200 doses in the third week of March and will receive 7,200. In the fourth week of March, we were to receive 79,568 doses and will receive 9,800,” he said.
As for the vaccine of the US company Johnson & Johnson, Capak said that the vaccine will soon be registered in the EU but could not tell how many doses Croatia would obtain considering reports that the US government would first supply the US market with the agreed quantities and then start exports to other countries.
Asked about alternative vaccine imports, Capak said that the documentation requested from the Russian producer had still not arrived, which was a precondition to launch emergency imports.
Meanwhile, the Russian manufacturer has launched the process of registration of the vaccine with the European Medicines Agency and Capak said he believed the process would soon be completed and that Croatia would be able to import the vaccine normally.
As for the Chinese vaccine, not much information is known but the HZJZ today held an online meeting with its producers, Capak said, adding that he would inform the public of the meeting on Monday.
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