In a comment on the new record high number of 542 coronavirus infections, PM Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that the virus posed a serious threat and that downplaying it resulted in non-compliance with restrictions and irresponsible behaviour, which threatened both public health and the economy.
A record high number of 542 new coronavirus infections were reported in Croatia today, which is the highest single-day number of new infections since the start of the epidemic and the largest jump day-on-day, 179 more new cases than the day before, Plenkovic told the government.
He underlined the importance of trusting scientists and the national Covid-19 response team instead of following “petty political speculation and improvisation in giving people advice.”
The onset of cold weather favours the spreading of the virus. Due to such conditions, people will increasingly stay home or indoors, where the probability of infection is higher, he said.
The national Covid-19 response team is therefore taking measures so that we can cope with this biggest challenge in the best possible way, the PM said, underlining the importance of finding a balance between health protection and the functioning of the economy and social life and calling for responsible behaviour.
“We will maintain economic activity, the economy must function, but to make that happen, each one of us needs to be responsible and disciplined. Giving up a little of one’s comfort ensures normal work and health. That is the key formula for success in this fight,” he said, warning against big gatherings, including family gatherings, and calling for solidarity and respect.
“If we must keep the economy running, we must work, go to school and keep society functioning, and that requires health, so let’s make an effort to each give our own contribution,” Plenkovic said, calling for contributing to “economic patriotism with responsible behaviour.”
Speaking of coronavirus statistics, he said that after the number of new infections was halved from 2,800 to 1,200 in the period from 5 to 20 September, a worrying trend appeared in recent weeks.
In less than ten days, the number of active cases has jumped by 1,000 and it now exceeds 2,200, he said.
The trends are similar in most European countries. For example, in Italy there are more than 60,000 active cases, Germany has 30,000 active cases, Hungary 22,000, Greece 10,000, Austria and Slovakia 9,000 each, Bosnia and Herzegovina 5,500, Montenegro 3,800, Slovenia 2,200, and Serbia 1,800 while Belgium has 100,000 active cases and France 500,000, he said.
Plenkovic noted that more than 36 million people around the globe had contracted the disease and more than a million had died.
The pandemic has been accelerating, on Wednesday alone there were 343,000 new cases, double the number at the end of June. More than 5.6 million people have contracted the disease in Europe and the number of fatalities stands at 228,000, which is more than in the United States, said Plenkovic.