ZAGREB, 13 January (Hina) – The national COVID-19 crisis management team on Wednesday adopted new rules for crossing the state border to restrict non-mandatory arrivals in Croatia, especially from countries where a new strain of coronavirus is spreading, such as Great Britain and the South African Republic.
The list of those countries will be made by the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ), and special epidemiological measures will apply to travellers from those countries, Davor Božinović, who is the head of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, told a press conference, adding that the decision is not related to citizenship but to the area from which a traveller is coming.
“Travellers from those countries must show a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours when entering Croatia and they will be issued a 14-day isolation order. Currently, Great Britain and the South African Republic are on the list,” Božinović said.
He added that the quarantine period could be decreased to seven days if travellers undergo PCR testing in authorised institutions and they test negative.
Persons from third countries who are coming due to urgent personal reasons such as funerals or medical treatment, will have their stay in Croatia limited to a maximum of 12 hours.
“Special rules have been introduced for persons coming to deliver aid for the quake-hit areas. They will be able to enter Croatia with prior consent from the crisis management team, in other words without a test,” Božinović added.
Measures yielding results, however caution is still needed
Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Wednesday that for the first time since 22 December, Croatia today registered the number of hospitalised COVID patients below 2,000, and the daily number of deaths linked to this infections below 30.
Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 1,135 new cases of the coronavirus infection and 26 related deaths, the national COVID-19 crisis response team said on Wednesday morning when 1,993 COVID patients were being treated in hospitals, including 193 on ventilators.
Beroš told a news conference that despite a fall in coronavirus numbers, citizens should be on alert.
“Our well-balanced (anti-epidemic) measures are producing results,” he added.
Although the number of patients in Zagreb’s Arena sports centre, repurposed into a makeshift centre for treatment of COVID patients with moderate to serious symptoms, had fallen to 12, the minister said that the this makeshift centre would not yet been closed.
“We will not rush with its closure,” Beroš said adding that the authorities would remain braced for new surges, if necessary.
He admitted that no solution had not still be found for the storage of the infectious waste from the two COVID hospitals in Zagreb, and added that the authorities continued searching for the best possible solution.
Downward trend in coronavirus numbers
The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, informed the news conference of downward trend in coronavirus numbers.
In the first three days of this week, the new coronavorus infection cases fell by 30.6% compared to the corresponding period last week.
Croatia’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population is 334.4 cases, with Dubrovnik Neretva County having the lowest rate (165.8) while Međimurje County had the highest rate of 536.7 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period.
To date, more than 35,000 Croatians have been vaccinated
Since Croatia started rolling out COVID vaccinations, more than 35,000 people have been vaccinated, and of them 16,425 are healthcare staff, while 15,848 have been residents of nursing homes.
In addition, 3,373 members of emergency services in the quake-hit area of Sisak-Moslavina County received first jabs of COVID vaccination last night, Capak said.
He added that so far, the authorities had received 86 reports on side-effects of the vaccination, and each of them will be dealt with by the special task force.
Some reports will be rejected, and claims from some reports will be registered, according to Capak who noted that a majority of side-effects were mildly elevated body temperature, swelling or pain around the injection site, headache. We had some serious side effects that had occurred, he added.