ZAGREB, June 15 (Hina) – During a visit to the Dr. Fran Mihaljevic Infectious Diseases Hospital in Zagreb on Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that a COBAS 6800 diagnostic device that can isolate more than 1,500 samples of coronavirus in 24 hours, will accelerate and advance diagnosing the disease.
The government helped procure protective equipment, including the HRK 3 million device, during the coronavirus epidemic through direct contact with Christoph Franz, the chief executive of the pharmaceutical company Roche.
“The global demand for these devices is enormous, and we did everything so that one of them arrives as quickly as possible to the hospital,” he said.
The prime minister underlined the brilliant relations with Roche CEO Franz, who has proven to be exceptionally benevolent to Croatia.
Plenkovic recalled the example of children suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in Croatia who were given Roche medication free of charge. Roche is also working on a large oncology project of personalised diagnostics with Zagreb’s Rebro University Hospital.
The prime minister also thanked health staff and experts who had contributed greatly to the fight against COVID-19 in Croatia.
“In comparison to other countries, I think that overall we can be proud of our health workers and the way they have defended us from this pandemic, and I thank them,” Plenkovic underlined.
Markotic: Apparatus essential for a second wave and for tourism
The director of the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Alemka Markotic, thanked the government for its support at the height of the coronavirus epidemic.
Thanks to the government we managed to obtain this apparatus. This automated device can test twice as many samples a day, more than 1,500 in 24 hours, she underscored.
“That is great in the event of a second wave of the infection and for sporadic situations, and having enhanced diagnostic capacities is also important for tourism,” said Markotic.
She added that the apparatus is worth more than HRK 3 million but that the state will not have to pay that amount and that it has been given the apparatus for use.
We will have to buy reagents, and in addition to testing for COVID-19, the apparatus can be used to detect HIV, hepatitis, HPV and other viruses, Markotic said.
There are currently two COVID-19 patients being treated at the hospital. Tests will be conducted according to the same protocol as until now and currently, about 300 samples are tested each day, she said.
She added that serological tests among health staff have been completed and the results should be known soon.