Croatia bans arrivals of foreigners from southern African countries

NEWS 26.11.2021 14:36
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Source: MORRIS MAC MATZEN / AFP

Due to a new Covid strain detected in South Africa, Croatia's Covid-19 crisis management team decided to impose a 14-day quarantine and mandatory testing for Croatians coming from from South Africa, Botswana, Lesoto, Namibia, Zimbabwe and DR Congo, and to ban arrivals of foreigners from those countries, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Friday.

The ban and restrictions are in line with the European Commission’s recommendations to all European Union member states following the appearance of a new variant of coronavirus in South Africa. Brussels is mulling EU-wide flight restrictions due to concerns over the new Covid-19 variant.

The head of Zagreb’s Infectious Diseases Hospital, Alemka Markotic, informed the news conference about studies showing that the new variant had not yet been detected outside Africa.

The head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ), Krunoslav Capak, said that it was still to early to predict the rate of the spread of that variant of the virus, having in mind the fact that the vaccination rate in southern African regions is below 10 percent.

Božinović told the news conference that European Union member states have to date issued 650 million Covid certificates, and currently talks are being conducted on the period of the certificate’s validity after full vaccination.

The European Commission on Thursday updated its rules on the validity of EU Digital Covid Certificates for a period of 9 months since the primary vaccination series. The Commission presented draft recommendations for safe and free movement in the EU which should take effect as of 10 January next year.

Capak: The vaccinated transmit the virus to a lesser extent

Capak warned about misinterpretations of scientific papers concerning the Covid-19 pandemic.

If one reads a scientific paper, they should also be able to interpret it correctly. A vaccinated individual can contract the virus and develop symptoms, however, the vaccinated get sick to a much lesser extent. It has been also proven that the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in their nose quickly lessens, Capak said, adding that vaccines provide a high level of protection against serious illness and death.

Also, the instances of the virus breaking into healthcare institutions are rarer now than in the first waves before the vaccination rollout.

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