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Croatian Public Health Institute director refutes Dutch institute claims regarding corona data

Krunoslav Capak (Photo: HINA/ PIXSELL/ POOL/ Goran Stanzl)

ZAGREB, July 23 (Hina) – Croatian Public Health Institute director Krunoslav Capak on Thursday refuted claims from the Dutch public health institute that Zagreb did not give the Netherlands, which has put Croatia on the orange coronavirus list, enough data based on which it could assess the situation.

That is totally incorrect, he said, adding that Croatia did not send any data to the Netherlands unless requested nor vice versa and that they all sent structured data to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

“On their website you can see that we send data by county. It is totally correct and up to date, and we are one of the most orderly countries, sending daily all data and polls which they request with communicable diseases,” Capak said.

The Netherlands has set the criteria for putting a country on the orange list under which Croatia has passed the 14-day incidence, which is currently 27 with regional differences, an average 23 for the seven Adriatic regions and 28 for continental regions, he said.

Capak hopes the Netherlands will remove Croatia off the orange list “in the next few days” when the numbers fall.

He said other countries applied the criteria recommended by the EU, an incidence of 16, while Croatia proposed 15 and Slovenia had 10. “It’s up to each country to decide which criterion to apply for the orange and red lists. We are far from anyone’s red list, which would mean that we couldn’t travel to that country without quarantining.”

The spokeswoman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Loes Hartman, told the Dutch NOS portal that Croatia did not give them enough data. She said the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control received coronavirus data from each country on a daily basis and sent it to the Dutch institute.

“Croatia is divided into just two regions. More detailed information is not available. There are not many differences between those two regions. One should ask Croatia why it sends so little data,” she said.

Dutch citizens complaining over orange list decision

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic on Thursday commented on the Dutch decision to put Croatia on the orange coronavirus list, saying Dutch citizens were complaining about it.

“Dutch citizens are complaining about this decision because they come here, spend time here and know they are not in danger. We also have public statements from very important tourist markets such as Slovenia, Austria, Germany, which aren’t thinking about putting Croatia in a category which would result in fewer arrivals from those countries,” he told the public broadcaster.

Bozinovic said he expected ministers, after the new government was voted in, to do more about this, adding that Croatia was sending daily all available data via the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control where, he said, the situation in Croatia could be seen both by county and at state level.

“We realise that this is summertime and people are on the move more, but we said that by opening (borders) and reactivating the economy it was possible to expect more new infections and that we would deal with it with local measures for local hotspots.”

Bozinovic, who heads the national COVID-19 response team, said the epidemiological situation was under control and that he hoped the number of new cases would start falling given the new restrictions and additional recommendations.

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