Croatian chief epidemiologist announces additional measures

Croatian chief epidemiologist announces additional measures

Croatian chief epidemiologist announces additional measures Izvor: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

Additional measures will be introduced very soon as the high number of coronavirus cases shows that the existing ones have not yielded results, Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) director Krunoslav Capak said on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, these measures haven't shown results. They were introduced last Monday and the results should have been seen by now. Everyone realises that the numbers are rising and that additional measures are necessary. Intensive talks on that are underway," he told the press.

Capak said the numbers certainly would not be rising if everyone adhered to the measures. "Evidently, we have a problem with people who don't want to adhere to the measures."

Capak said he was aware of the problem of concealing contacts with infected persons and not sending people into self-isolation, so measures to deal with that will be adopted "very soon."

He said those would not be new measures, rather working hours would be further shortened and the number of people who could gather would be reduced.

As for the fact that some states in Europe have other restrictive measures, for example banning two families to meet in one month, he said it was not acceptable for the Croatian culture and way of life.

But there is a threshold after which measures would be made stricter, he added.

Speaking of the age of coronavirus fatalities in Croatia, Capak said it was 79 on average and that the average age of patients was 43, "and it hasn't significantly changed since the start of the epidemic."

The director of the Dr Andrija Stampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, Zvonimir Sostar, said there were no new hotspots in Zagreb, which reported 798 new cases in the last 24 hours, but that the virus was spreading horizontally.

"Whole families are infected, we have more and more of them," he said.

Sostar and Capak were speaking to the press at the opening of a new testing location in Zagreb.

Capak said all public health institutes and the Health Ministry were working on hiring people to help epidemiologists and that he hoped about 100 would be hired in the next few days.

"The biggest pressure is on the City of Zagreb. We are constantly working on expanding the number of laboratories as well as the capacities," he said, adding that there were problems with reagents but that they were not due to the debt owed to wholesale drug suppliers.

Capak said the HZJZ could do 1,600 tests a day and that it could do 500-600 more if the problem with expendable supplies was solved, which he hopes will happen next week.

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