Health Minister Vili Beros said on Wednesday that there were 12,736 active coronavirus cases in Croatia and that the number of Covid patients in need of hospitalisation was growing, currently standing at 932 or 155 more than on Tuesday.
Sixty-eight people are on ventilators, 14 more than yesterday. Twenty-three people have died in the last 24 hours, and the death toll now stands at 493, Beros said ahead of an inner cabinet meeting.
The minister said that the respiratory support and intensive care unit of the KBC Split hospital was working at 50.68% capacity. Seventy-five patients are currently receiving treatment there, and if their number increases, the entire hospital block in the city's Krizine neighbourhood will be converted to accommodate Covid-19 patients, he said.
The occupancy rate in the KBC Rijeka hospital is 30.43%, with 21 coronavirus patients, KBC Osijek's occupancy rate is 51.38% with 93 patients, while Zagreb's "Dr Fran Mihaljevic" hospital for infectious diseases has long been operating at more than 90% capacity and cannot admit new coronavirus patients.
Zagreb's KB Dubrava hospital is operating at 90.20% capacity and an additional 200 beds are being set up. On Tuesday, ten new ventilators arrived and today another 20 will arrive as will new medical staff - 39 nurses and five anesthesiologists, said Beros.
"We will do our best so that the health system functions as long and as well as possible. We do not have a crystal ball to foretell a collapse which I read about in media reports. It is possible but as a responsible person I will do my best to make the system function in the best possible way," the minister said, adding that the health system at the moment still functioned one step ahead of the needs.
General practitioners must contact and inform people who have tested positive for coronavirus as well as their contacts, he said.
"Many countries are imposing a lockdown, but those measures are not yielding results. We will continue to issue recommendations that constitute a balance between health protection and keeping the economy going," said Beros.