Croatia’s coronavirus case count rose by 60 in the last 24 hours, reaching 442 in total, the head of the Croatian Public Health Institute, Krunoslav Capak, confirmed on Wednesday afternoon, adding that 22 people have fully recovered.
“The number of new cases discovered every day is not increasing, and has been kept below Saturday’s peak, when 78 new cases had been confirmed. This gives us hope that our curve will flatten and not go upward,” Capak said.
Ten patients are on ventilators, the same as on Tuesday, but the condition of one of them has deteriorated, said Alemka Markotic, head of the Zagreb’s Fran Mihaljevic hospital.
“We will do everything in our power to improve the patient’s condition,” she said.
So far, the coronavirus took one life in Croatia. The victim was an elderly owner of a tavern in the town of Brtonigla in Istria who died on March 18.
“Our lives are changing”
Experts predict that the numbers of newly confirmed cases will go down only after the effects of draconian restrictions put in place to enforce social distancing become visible, which should be about two weeks after their introduction.
Croatia introduced its restrictions last Thursday, when all non-essential stores were closed, public gatherings of more than five people were banned, and individuals were ordered to keep a distance of at least 2 metres indoors and 1 metre outdoors. International travel was also suspended, and borders have been effectively shut down.
Even stricter restrictions were imposed nationwide after the nation’s capital, Zagreb, which accounts for nearly a half of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, was struck by a powerful earthquake on Sunday morning, causing some people to flee the city. After the earthquake, most public transport was suspended and any inter-city travel was banned.
Fines have also been introduced for people violating self-isolation orders, which start at 8,000 kuna (€1,060).
“Our lives are changing and we will have to follow expert instructions by the epidemiologists, not just for the next few weeks but for a much longer period of time,” Interior Minister, Davor Bozinovic, said on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in the region, Serbia has confirmed 384 coronavirus cases in total on Wednesday afternoon. Four people have died from the disease so far, and 15 have recovered. Bosnia, which has 173 confirmed cases, has so far recorded three deaths and two recoveries. Kosovo confirmed eight new cases, bringing the total in the country to 71 on Wednesday evening.