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Relaxing restrictions for Christmas holidays depends on trends, Croatia’s interior minister says

Croatia lockdown

Interior Minister Davor Božinovic (Photo: HINA/ Daniel KASAP)

ZAGREB, Dec 10 (Hina) – The national coronavirus response team head, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic, said on Thursday that the relaxation of anti-COVID restrictions during the coming Christmas holidays would depend on the trend in reducing the number of infections.

“Relaxing measures can be related only to clear trends that the number of people infected is declining and currently we do not have that situation,” Bozinovic said during a signing ceremony at which Germany’s Ambassador to Croatia Robert Klinke donated vehicles to Croatia.

Bozinovic underlined that the numbers are continuing to increase mildly and the response team is monitoring the situation, “but that certainly will not result in any significant relaxation” he added.

Asked what the number of infected people should be for restrictions to be eased, Bozinovic said that there has to be a clear trend. “We have to see day in and day out that the trend of new infections is falling but the current daily numbers at the moment are not near that scenario,” he said.

Asked if rapid antigen tests would be added to the statistics, Bozinovic recalled that antigen tests are being distributed to counties and would be used to test employees in welfare institutions, primarily aged care facilities. He added that in Varazdin tests were being conducted in large companies with a large number of employees, which seem to be hotspots for coronavirus infections.

That should provide us with an image of the number of infections according to individual communities which is essential with regard to the elderly and if we wish to take the business sector into consideration, he said.

Bozinovic said that the announced celebrations of New Year’s Eve would be considered to be contrary to the current restrictions.

“Hotels need to continue functioning to cater to people attending important meetings but it would be contrary to medical indications to conduct any sort of party functions. After I read that some hotels are organising New Year’s Eve parties I contacted Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac who said that she would pass on this message to hoteliers,” Bozinovic concluded.

Croatia registered 4,620 new coronavirus cases and 53 related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Thursday morning.

The number of active cases now stands at 24,851 and among them are 2,754 infected people who are receiving hospital treatment, including 296 who are on ventilators. A total of 62,270 people are currently self-isolating.

Since February 25, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 163,992 people have been infected with the novel virus, of whom 2,420 have died and 136,721 have recovered, including 3,466 in the last 24 hours.

To date, a total of 849,714 people have been tested for coronavirus, including 12,095 in the last 24 hours.

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