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Croatian PM: Relaxing measures should not be sudden

PM Andrej Plenkovic (Photo: HINA/ Daniel KASAP)

ZAGREB, April 6 (Hina) – After conducting on Monday a second video conference with Croatian medical experts from the country and abroad, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that from the very start Croatia had reacted very well in preventing the coronavirus from spreading and that any relaxation of restrictions should not be sudden.

Croatia reacted well, in a timely and restrictive manner

Plenkovic said that in comparison to other countries, Croatia had reacted very well, with timely and fairly restrictive measures resulting in a slow spreading of the disease and a low fatality rate in the first few weeks of the epidemic.

He said that that the experts he talked to said that Croatia’s strategy had been good from the very start compared with other, much richer countries that have a stronger research community and stronger centres and health systems and more funds available.

Plenkovic believes that it is necessary to continue with a policy that will not lead to any problems within the health system, “which means that we have to continue with the procurement of quality protective equipment and thank the medical staff for their sacrifice as well as implement restrictive measures, adapting them to the needs of the Croatian economy.”

Work underway on legal formulation of decision on farmers’ markets

“Our objective is for all relaxations of measures to be in line with epidemiological recommendations and estimates and for them not to be sudden, which could lead to an increase in the number of people infected,” he said.

He announced that in the weeks ahead joint assessments would be made of the dynamic of relaxing measures but taking account of health.

Measures will be introduced to make it possible for everything that Croatian farmers and family farms produce is consumed in an appropriate way, and “for citizens to access farmers’ markets but not the way they used to previously.”

He confirmed that a decision to that effect could be made before Easter, saying that currently, the government was working on the legal formulation of that decision.

Self-discipline and responsibility are key

He appealed to citizens to behave just as responsibly as they have until now even though warmer weather has been forecast and to be patient and trust the authorities and experts and follow the fundamental recommendation on social distance, because “self-discipline and responsibility are key.”

Plenkovic pointed out one comment from today’s meeting – that the risk of the disease is the greatest within the family and that that is where the disease spreads the fastest. “Hence it is truly important to be careful in everything you do so that there are no negative consequences.”

He also commented on the latest surveys showing an increased trust in the authorities. “That type of trust is a signal that the government is managing this crisis appropriately and that it takes care of citizens’ interests,” he said.

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