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Health minister orders mobilisation of entire public health system in Croatia

Croatian hospitals

Dubrava Hospital (Photo credit: HINA/ Admir BULJUBAŠIĆ/ ml)

ZAGREB, Oct 27 (Hina) – Health Minister Vili Beros has called for total mobilisation of the entire public health system in Croatia in response to the current situation with coronavirus.

“As the minister of health, I have ordered a full mobilisation of the entire public health system in Croatia. This is the time in fact for us to show our true commitment to our calling,” Beros posted on his Facebook profile on Tuesday.

The current situation with coronavirus compels everyone in the health system to extraordinary engagement from primary health care physicians, emergency health services, the institute for public health, and all hospitals that are caring for the ill, he added.

“That means that each worker in the healthcare system has to take this situation seriously and that everyone, including myself, has to make a maximum contribution to efforts to overcome this situation,” Beros told N1 television, explaining his post.

He explained that plans exist to gradually activate the health system considering the increase in new infections. “Today we had the highest daily number of (COVID-related) deaths and we have to adapt all our capacities to respond to this challenge,” he said.

He recalled that all primary intensive care centres have been set up in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Osijek and that regions are obliged to organise secondary and tertiary centres.

“As existing capacities are being filled in (Zagreb’s) Dubrava Hospital, new ones are being added and for now it is under control. In the spring already we said that we would be able to organise 250-300 ventilators that are arriving gradually to hospitals and to distribute personnel, and we also have ta field hospital,” he said.

Beros underlined that since this morning the procurement of oxygen supplies, which are significantly more important now, has been organised. The authorities are also considering the providing of possible oxygen supplies for the Arena hall in Zagreb, which has been turned into a field hospital.

It remains to be seen how many doctors, nurses, carers will be infected or in self-isolation

“I think the health system has sufficient reserve capacities to adequately care for everyone but the question is how many doctors, nurses and carers will become infected or have to self-isolate. That is why we have established a register of health workers who have recovered from Covid-19 and who are seropositive. They are the basis of our future fight,” he said.

Other assistant staff are being trained – medical students in their last year and future nurses. Also, institutions are calling for the urgent employment of carers of whom 1,000 are currently registered as unemployed.

“That is important for the homogenisation of the people, to realise that the virus is not a hoax, it is not a global conspiracy. The virus is causing citizens to become ill by the day and unfortunately today 18 people have died. That is a black record but if we observe it in the context of the number of people who are infected and hospitalised, then that is not unexpected,” said Beros.

Today’s lower number of new infections does not necessarily mean that this is the result of the latest measures, they will only be able to be analysed in a week or two.

An inspection is still underway in Dubrava Hospital and based on the preliminary results no significant ommissions occurred there, said Beros.

In the past 24 hours, Croatia has recorded 1,413 new cases of coronavirus infections. Also, 18 COVID patients have died, which is the highest number of COVID-related fatalities in one day to date since the outbreak of the epidemic.

There are currently 11,311 active cases in Croatia, 897 of whom are in hospital treatment and 57 are on ventilators.


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