Italian Il Giornale Defends Croatia: Is It Really A Time Bomb, Or Did Someone Exaggerate?

Daniela Rogulj



August 18, 2020 – Italian newspaper Il Giornale published an article stating that Croatia has found itself under the magnifying glass of Europe after the increase in the number of new coronavirus infections, although Croatian figures are significantly below the number of new cases in Italy.

T.portal reports that the Italian newspaper claims the most probable cause of the deteriorating health situation in Italy is the return of those who decided to spend a few relaxing days on the Adriatic.

“But what are the real numbers in Croatia? First of all, we must emphasize that the number of new daily infections is significantly below the values recorded in Italy. On Sunday, Croatia had 151 new infections, while in Italy, there were 479, or more than double. This gives rise to debate: Are Croats really a time bomb, or has someone exaggerated? The real answer could be the latter. And for a straightforward reason. Infections in Europe have risen almost everywhere. Croatia did not have to fight with significantly higher numbers, as is the case with Spain or France. But it still ended in the middle of a storm,” writes Il Giornale.

On August 15, as reported by the Adnkronos agency, Croatia recorded 162 new cases of infection and two deaths. Admittedly, the current numbers are worse than in February, during the first wave. But on the other hand, it is a reduction in numbers given that there were 208 infections on August 14 and 180 on Thursday. The peak of the first wave, discovered on April 1, stopped at a maximum of 96 newly infected in one day.

Minister of Health Vili Beros was very clear in explaining the situation to RTL: “We consciously accepted the risk and decided to continue our life with tourism. Without tourism, one of the key sectors for Croatia, things would be worse for us.”

President Zoran Milanovic is of the same opinion. In order not to lose control of the situation, a decision was made that bars, restaurants and nightclubs must close at midnight.

The number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic has exceeded the threshold of 6,500 people, while the number of deaths is a total of 166. There are 1,062 active cases, while for comparison, in Italy, there are 14,404. This shows that it makes no sense to consider Croatia a dangerous destination. 820,000 foreign guests are indeed in Croatia, and the movement of these tourists may spread the infection from one country to another. But figures show that the risk is not higher than in other locations.

Infections of returnees from holidays or from abroad can be a cause for concern. Several young people who returned home from Croatia transmitted the coronavirus to relatives and friends, creating real hotspots. This was also the reason for the alarm and the decision of the Italian government to introduce measures for the return of tourists from Spain, Greece and Croatia.

“But what is indisputable is that we need to emphasize the attitude of some of the tourists, both in Croatia and in other countries. Several young Italian men said that only a few wear masks in clubs in Croatia. Some of them, as in the case of young people with whom Tg1 spoke on Pag, show that they significantly reduce the real danger of coronavirus. In any case, it would be good to silence the alarm towards Croatia,” they concluded.

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