ZAGREB, July 13 (Hina) – Serological tests have shown that 2.4% of the people tested in Croatia have antibodies to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and member of the national COVID-19 response team, Krunoslav Capak, said in an interview with RTL television on Sunday evening.
“2.4% of the people tested, or 1,054, have developed antibodies, which proves that they were in contact with the coronavirus. This is a lot more than the recorded number of cases. That means that among us there are a lot more people who came into contact with the infection than we know. Only a few of them have neutralising antibodies, which means they are not protected from reinfection,” Capak said, adding that only 2% of those with igG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies had coronavirus-neutralising antibodies.
He said that the results of the serological testing would be made public in the coming days.
Capak also commented on the decision by the national response team to make wearing face masks mandatory for staff in healthcare institutions and for visitors to patients, as well as in the hospitality industry, retails shops and on public transport, as of Monday, July 13.
“The World Health Organization has been saying for days that we can expect a much more complicated situation in the autumn and we are preparing for it. If the situation does deteriorate, it will be important for people to wear masks elsewhere as well, so we can consider this a sort of preparation for the autumn. The most important thing for us is to raise public awareness so that people get used to it and realise that preventative measures are important,” Capak said.
Responding to a question from the interviewer, he said that quarantine, although it prevents the virus from spreading, was untenable for both economic and psychological reasons.
“I don’t think we will impose a quarantine in the autumn but will use segmental and quick measures to curb the virus. It will be among us. We want the figures to be lower than they are now and we are intensively working on it. The coronavirus is among us and it will not go away,” Capak said.