Scientist Says Estimate About 1,500 COVID-19 Deaths by End of Nov Based on Data

Total Croatia News

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

ZAGREB, November 6, 2020 – Croatian scientist Ivica Djikic has responded to Croatian Public Health Institute head Krunoslav Capak’s claim that Djikic’s estimate that about 1,500 people will die of COVID-19 by the end of November is exaggerated, noting that his estimates are based on facts and calling for additional measures.

“What is your estimate of the number of fatalities by the end of November – is it 1,000 or 1,300?” Djakic asked Capak on Friday, stressing that his estimate about 1,500 fatalities was based on data.

In the February-June period 108 people in Croatia died of COVID-19, in the July-November period the number of fatalities was 575, which together gives 683 fatalities, he said.

The reason why the number of fatalities increased 5.3 times are the measures that were applied, Djikic said, noting that the number of fatalities would continue to grow in November if measures to curb the growth of new infections were not adopted.

According to estimates, the average number of deaths per day in November is 32, times 31 days plus 546 fatalities by November, which by the end of the month will result in 1,538 deaths, Djikic said.

“I am calling on you to introduce additional efficient measures as of Monday, not a full lockdown, not a curfew, because you have a whole set of other available measures, so as to reduce the mortality rate,” Djikic said, calling on Capak to listen to appeals by six professional associations, bringing together different experts, from physicians to epidemiologists, who have requested fast action and appropriate measures as well.

He points to an estimate by the World Health Organisation under which the wearing of face masks and strict control of gatherings can help save more than 261,000 lives in Europe by February 2021.

Djikic notes that during the summer he called on Capak and the government to provide additional capacity for antigen testing, to which they turned a deaf ear.

“A few weeks ago you even said publicly that fast antigen tests are not good enough for Croatia. Now you are saying the opposite,” Djikic said, noting that he could accept Capak’s having changed his mind but that he was not sure fast antigen testing could be introduced in a professional and useful way.

As for the planned antigen testing, Djikic said he was not certain that the approximately 37,500 tests the government planned to purchase would be sufficient if one wished to test around 10,000 or more people daily at the current stage of the epidemic.

The reason of Croatia’s success in the spring stage of the epidemic was the timely adoption of restrictions and compliance by citizens, Djikic said, adding that he was confident the same could be achieved now if one relied on expert data and stopped confusing the public with incorrect statements.


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