Scientific Council Proposes New Measures for Places with Higher COVID-19 Number

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ZAGREB, Aug 25, 2020 – The government’s Scientific Council on Tuesday recommended introducing new epidemiological measures in places where there are more infected persons in order to reverse the current negative trends ahead of the new school year.

“The number of new infections has been growing over the past two weeks and we have concluded that that was a risk that we accepted when we opened the border for the tourist season, but now we agree that it is time again, in places with an increase in the number of new infections, to take measures to reduce those numbers and have as few infections as possible before the start of the school year,” epidemiologist Branko Kolaric said after a session of the Scientific Council.

The new epidemiological measures will be made by the national COVID-19 response team, and the Scientific Council has only advised it on what should be done, he said.

“Our advice is to introduce new measures regionally, locally and depending on the current epidemiological situation. There will be no horizontal measures for the entire country, in the communities with a larger number of infections masks will have to be worn indoors and awareness of the importance of physical distancing will have to be raised,” said Kolaric.

He added that due to a shortage of epidemiologists additional personnel would be hired to help primarily in the search for the contacts of infected persons.

Asked about the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, Kolaric said that he knew very little about it and that he believed it was an adenovirus vaccine. He stressed, though, that on the list of the World Health Organisation there were six vaccines in an advanced stage of research and that he was optimistic in that regard.

The head of Zagreb’s hospital for infectious diseases “Dr Fran Mihaljevic”, Alemka Markotic, said that one should prepare for the autumn and winter months when more severe cases of the disease and greater pressure on the health system were expected.

“Nobody expects any major lockdown but one should be able to cope with the situation and find the right measures,” Markotic said, concluding that so far, Croatia had been dealing well with the pandemic.

As for the tourist season, she said that there had been no significant number of infections in hotels and camping sites and that there were around 300 entries on international platforms with data on infected tourists.

“There has been no explosion of the infection so far but now that people are returning to their workplace and children start school, one should be aware of the need to adhere to epidemiological measures and be disciplined,” she said. 

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