Croatia has seen a 39% increase in the weekly number of coronavirus cases, and the number of hospitalisations is increasing, the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, warned on Friday.
The test positivity rate today is 12.5%, and another 14 people have been placed on ventilators since yesterday,” Capak said at a press conference of the national coronavirus crisis management team.
In the past 24 hours, nine COVID-infected people have died. Eight of them were not vaccinated. Their average age was 72 years.
The fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic has come earlier and with larger numbers than the second wave last year, Capak said, adding that epidemiologists estimated that between 50% and 60% of people in Croatia have developed some immunity to the virus.
“The remaining 40% is still a large number,” he noted.
Speaking about mask wearing in schools, Capak said that the intention is to prevent situations in which an entire class of students would have to self-isolate if one of them gets infected. He said that in local areas where the epidemiological situation is good children can be allowed not to wear face masks, but stressed that this is not the case with the schools in Krapinske Toplice and Sinj.
The head of the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Zagreb, Alemka Markotic, said that the number of infections and hospitalisations is growing across Europe and that the authorities in all countries are appealing to people to get vaccinated.
The Delta variant has become totally dominant in Europe, which is why the infection is spreading so fast, and a lot of people are still not vaccinated, Markotic said.
She called on all those responsible not to confuse children with their ideas of not having to wear face masks in schools.
“Any responsible parent will seek medical assistance for their ill child, they will not be asking their friends on the internet and social networks how to treat their child or how to operate on them. Children are not our toys,” Markotic said.
Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that making COVID certificates mandatory for visits to shopping malls or for schools is not being planned. He added that for now the idea is to introduce them only for healthcare institutions and care homes.
Health workers who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered from COVID-19 will be required to undergo testing as of 1 October, Health Minister Vili Beros said, but did not explain for how long these tests will be for free or how much this will cost.