ZAGREB, May 5 (Hina) – In the past 24 hours, 11 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified in Croatia and three more patients have died, the National Civil Protection Authority said on Tuesday.
“There have been 11 new cases in the last 24 hours, which puts the total number of infections at 2,112,” the head of the Emergency Medicine Institute and member of the national team, Maja Grba Bujevic, said at a news conference.
The three fatalities are a man born in 1929 who was treated at the Split Hospital, a woman born in 1926 who was treated at the Koprivnica Hospital, and a man born in 1936 from Dubrovnik.
The total number of fatalities is 83, said Grba Bujevic.
So far a total of 39,973 people have been tested for the virus, including 933 in the last 24 hours.
Currently, 218 people are undergoing hospital treatment and 14 are on ventilators. Thirty-eight people have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
There are 226 healthcare professionals who are positive for the coronavirus and 209 are in self-isolation.
All waiting lists for medical examinations to be resolved in two months
Seeing as hospitals started receiving patients for examinations and check-ups as of Monday, the situation on Tuesday appeared to be going well, Grba Bujevic said.
She added that all backlogs in waiting lists that were due to the suspension of medical examinations in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic would be resolved within two months’ time.
If the public health system will not be able to handle all these cases, private clinics will be called to assist, she added.
Bozinovic: The new motto is ‘stay responsible’
“We’ve headed into the second phase of relaxing restrictions but we must not ignore epidemiological recommendations. We have to remain self-disciplined and responsible and continue under a new motto, ‘Stay responsible’, the head of the authority, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, said.
Capak: Situation in Split hospital under control
The head of the Public Health Institute (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, announced that the third phase of relaxing lockdown measures, planned for May 11, would contain guidelines for wedding parties that are still not allowed even though marriages are allowed with the presence of extended family.
Asked about the situation in the Split Hospital, Capak said that the latest patient infected with the disease had previously been listed as positive and that a nurse in the same ward had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago.
He said that the functioning of the ward had been hampered by the outbreak of the disease as many of its staff would have to self-isolate and patients would have to be relocated. The contacts of the infected persons are being investigated and will be tested, Capak said, adding that the situation was under control.
Capak said that children’s playgrounds had been reopened while sports halls were still closed and competitions would probably not be allowed until after mid-May.
Asked about schools reopening, Capak said that epidemiologists had made their recommendations and had been informed of parents’ and teachers’ not being happy, however, the Science and Education Ministry was the one making decisions on the matter.
Asked whether it would be possible, considering the epidemiological situation, to hold the parliamentary election, Capak said that that topic had not been discussed yet.
“There are a lot of matters that need to be defined, from election rallies to going to polling stations, and at the moment I do not know the answers,” he said.
Markotic: Vaccine probably won’t be ready this autumn
The head of Zagreb’s Fran Mihaljevic Infectious Diseases Hospital, Alemka Markotic, said that Croatia would search its serum data bank after French authorities said that they had knowledge of “patient zero” who was present in that country in December.
As a second wave of the pandemic is expected in the autumn, Markotic said that currently 71 possible vaccines against COVID-19 were being tested, however, not one had been assessed as efficient yet.
“A vaccine or medicine that is one hundred percent safe and efficient will probably not be found before autumn,” she said, adding that normal testing of a new medicine or vaccine can take three to five years.
The executive board of the Croatian Medical Chamber (HLZ) has decided to award the medical team in the national civil protection authority with the Ladislav Rakovac Medal for their personal efforts in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
HLZ has awarded the medal to Health Minister Vili Beros, HZJZ director Krunoslav Capak, Fran Mihaljevic Infectious Diseases Hospital head Alemka Markotic, and the head of the Emergency Medicine Institute, Maja Grba Bujevic.