In the last 24 hours, 61 new cases of the coronavirus infection were discovered in Croatia, bringing the total number of patients to 1,343 on Wednesday, while the death toll in the country rose to 19 after an elderly woman in the southern city of Split died from the infection.
So far, 179 people have recovered from the disease, while 36 are in serious condition requiring ventilators.
Late on Tuesday evening, some 50 pensioners from a nursing home in the city of Split were evacuated from the home after ten patrons had tested positive for the virus. All the evacuated pensioners have symptoms, and results of their tests are expected soon. It remains unclear how the infection reached the nursing home, since all visitation has been banned for weeks because of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic announced on Wednesday that the authorities have decided to allow farmers’ markets to reopen, under stringent rules.
"We've received final confirmation from local civil protection authorities that farmers' markets have been prepared for special working conditions during the epidemic and a decision has been signed that allows farmers' markets to operate under strict rules set by the Croatian Public Health Institute,” Bozinovic said.
The health authorities have instructed cities to secure areas on the markets with disinfectants for all the buyers, as well as to disinfect the spaces regularly, limit the amount of people entering the area, and maintain the minimum necessary distance.
Four more dead in Serbia, caseload surpasses 2,600
The Serbian health authorities reported four more coronavirus-related deaths and 219 new cases over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total caseload in the country to 2,666.
Since the pandemic reached the country, 65 people in total have died.
The Serbian government decided to extend the weekend curfew which will now last from 5:00 pm on Friday to 5:00 on Monday, N1 was told by sources in the government. People over the age of 65 will now be able to do their shopping from 4:00 to 7:00 am on Fridays.
Turkey sends help to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Part of a contingent of protective equipment which was secured by Turkey to assist countries in the Western Balkans in the fight against coronavirus arrived in Sarajevo on Wednesday.
More than 800 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Bosnia so far, with the death toll at 34.
Bosnia's Security Minister Fahruding Radoncic welcomed the transport military jet which had delivered several thousand special protective suits and about two thousand coronavirus tests and several hundred thousand protective masks and gloves.
Slovenia confirms 36 new cases
Slovenian health authorities confirmed 36 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total on Wednesday to 1,091.
New figures confirm that the daily increases in cases continue to drop, but the government is concerned that the number of patients in intensive care is not decreasing, and the death toll in the country keeps rising.
Four more deaths were confirmed in the country on Tuesday, bringing the total to 40, and 111 people were hospitalised with the coronavirus, 35 of whom in intensive care units, the highest number to date.
The number of patients in intensive care has been critically rising in the past few days, Jelko Kacin, the government's spokesman on the COVID-19 crisis, said at a press conference.
The situation remains critical in nursing homes, which account for one in five of the coronavirus cases and a majority of fatalities in the country.
Still, due to the downward trend in new cases, the government has announced it would relax some restrictions, mainly those concerning travel and movement, which had been imposed due to the outbreak, by the end of Easter holidays.
So far, 120 people in Slovenia have recovered from the disease.