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Minister says damage to hospitals in earthquake not extensive

(Photo: HINA/Damir SENČAR)

ZAGREB, March 22 (Hina) – Health Minister Vili Beros said that the quakes that rocked Zagreb early on Sunday morning did not cause more extensive material damage to the city’s hospitals, announcing that patients would be returned to hospitals as soon as construction experts okayed it.

After a meeting of the state leadership at Zagreb’s National and University Library, Beros went on a tour of city hospitals.

Speaking to reporters outside the city’s Fran Mihaljevic Infectious Diseases Hospital, which was damaged in the quakes, he said that the damage to that and other city hospitals was not extensive.

“The emergency surgery unit at the Sisters of Charity Hospital is not in function, but it has been arranged that emergency operations are performed at the Sveti Duh Hospital… I hear that the damage to the women’s diseases and maternity hospital is not extensive either,” Beros said.

At its meeting this morning, the government agreed on the strategy to check all infrastructure, return patients to hospitals and provide accommodation for others in need of accommodation.

(Photo: HINA/ Tomislav PAVLEK/)

“Construction experts are already on the ground, they are assessing statics of the structures. When they approve it, patients and others who used to be in hospitals will return there,” said Beros.

He warned that the coronavirus infection was nevertheless a much bigger threat at the moment. The competent services have prepared for one threat but the current capacity will evidently have to be used for both purposes, earthquake and coronavirus, he said.

Asked if the current situation with the earthquake would affect the speed of the coronavirus spread, Beros said that it was possible, but that he hoped that the infection would not start spreading at a faster rate.

Patients won’t be moved from infectious diseases hospital for the time being

The head of the Fran Mihaljevic Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Alemka Markotic, said that for the time being patients would not be relocated from the hospital.

“Everything is under control, people have responded well. The army and the city authorities are helping us intensively, together with the government. The response was almost instantaneous,” she said.

The army has been setting up heated tents where patients will be provisionally accommodated, while patients sent by the city authorities have already been accommodated in two tents. Statisticians are checking the hospital buildings and if they say that the situation is good, there will be no relocation, said Markotic.

(Photo: HINA/ Damir SENCAR/)

As for coronavirus, Markotic said that since this morning the national civil protection team had not had the time for figures.

“Five people are on ventilators, two more than yesterday, which is a warning to citizens to beware. The reactions this morning were understandable but as far as I could see, most citizens were keeping personal distance,” she said.

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