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26 doctors and scientists launch appeal on fight against COVID-19 in Croatia

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(Photo credit: HINA/ Damir SENCAR/ ds)

ZAGREB, Dec 6 (Hina) – Concerned by the second wave of the pandemic spreading in Croatia and the high death toll, 26 prominent Croatian doctors and scientists from the country and abroad launched a public appeal on Sunday and made recommendations for overcoming the severe public health and social crisis in Croatia.

They said that only with great solidarity and commitment of the entire society can we resist this great challenge.

“We would like to distance ourselves from all the statements that based on incorrect data assured the public in November that the epidemic in Croatia would stagnate or wane and that we did not need stricter measures or that they were not effective. We also distance ourselves from estimates that the virus had weakened in any way because they are not in line with scientific knowledge,” they said in the appeal.

Strictest anti-epidemic measures should be adopted

When it is established that the spread of the infection has gone out of control, it is necessary, it was underscored, to activate preventively and without delay the strictest measures for curbing the epidemic that is politically and economically possible in Croatia. This respects the principle of prevention and prevents the occurrence of a high number of infections, instead of having to treat them, with hospitals being overloaded with infected persons.

It is necessary to ensure quality and transparent information on the spread of the infection.

The communication on the pandemic needs to be improved to restore the trust in people managing the crisis, they said.

The signatories of the appeal call for a register, that is a publicly accessible tally, which will count the number of the persons infected with coronavirus, the number of persons in self-isolation, and provide information about hospitalisation numbers and the hospitals giving treatment to those persons. Such tally should give information about available capacities in COVID hospitals, with the exact number of beds for patients who need intensive care treatment.

The signatories say that the daily statistics about the COVID-fatalities in hospitals should also include the data on persons who die from COVID complications outside hospitals.

They call for resolute action in testing and for conducting a higher number of tests in the conditions of the intensive spread of the infection and “the lost control over the epidemic” so that the percentage of positive tests could drop from 30%, as it is currently the case, to below 5%.

The appeal urges the authorities to specify key epidemiological parameters for imposing or lifting certain anti-epidemic measures so as “to lessen the uncertainties in the society.”

The signatories say that in their capacities as experts they do not recommend any decisions which would not be applied to everybody and in this context they criticise any politicisation of measures and their adjustment to some of the social groups.

This (epidemic) is a problem concerning the whole Croatian society and we all are affected, and therefore only solidarity and concerted action of the whole society can help us to manage this huge challenge.

The appeal was sent by researcher Ivica Djikic on behalf of another 25 signatories.

The other signatories are Andreja Ambriovic Ristov, Nenad Ban, Ilija Brizic, Luka Cicicn-Sain, Stipan Jonjic,  doc.dr.sc. Vanda Juranic Lisnic, Petra Klepac, Vanja Klepac-Ceraj, Branko Kolaric, Vladimir Krajinovic, Marko Kutlesa, Pero Lucin, Kresimir Luetic, Igor Mezic, Bojan Polic, Kristijan Ramadan,  Igor Rudan, Marija Santini, Mihaela Skobe, Sasa Srica, Igor Stagljar, Goran Tesovic, Andrej Trampuz, Boris Ujevic and Domagoj Vucic.

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