Croatia’s Covid caseloads seem to be stagnating as authorities ease restrictions

NEWS 18.03.2022 13:50
Source: Miguel MEDINA / AFP, Ilustracija

Croatia's health authorities reported on Friday that 1,939 new cases of the coronavirus and 18 Covid-related deaths have been recorded in the country over the previous 24 hours. These figures seem to indicate that the continuous fall in cases and deaths since January has slowed down, with caseloads maintaining current levels.

The rolling seven-day case count now stands at 10,481, or on average 1,497 per day, a slight increase recorded for the fourth day in a row. The 14-day case count is now 19,907 or on average 1,422 cases per day, or 33 percent down from the the previous two-week period.

The daily death count doubled from Thursday. The rolling seven-day death count is now 102, a slight increase from Thursday when it briefly dropped back into double-digits. Still, the seven-day death count is now 25 percent down from 136 deaths in the week prior.

As of Friday there were 11,186 active cases in the country, including 691 Covid patients in hospital care.

To date, Croatia has registered more than one million coronavirus cases, and the total pandemic-related death toll now stands at 15,410. This amounts to an average of about 20 deaths per day since the first case was detected in the country on February 25, 2020.

At the same time, some 2.30 million Croatians have received at least one shot of any Covid-19 vaccine so far, which health authorities translates to “56.9 percent of the country’s entire population.” This is the calculation released by health authorities, which project the current population at little under 4.1 million, even though the latest 2021 census figures released in January by the state statistics bureau put the current population size at 3.88 million.

This includes some 2.23 million Croatians who have been fully immunized against the disease, which health services say translates to around 65.6 percent of adults, implying that there are currently 3.4 million adults living in the country.

At the same time, the vaccination uptake rate has slowed to a trickle. Even though the vaccines are widely available and free of charge, the interest in vaccines is reportedly very low – on Thursday authorities reported that only 1,166 vaccine shots had been administered that day, including 181 first-timers. Booster shots have been available since December, but authorities do not include these statistics in their daily reports.

The daily figures come from official reports which only account for cases confirmed by PCR tests and which are reported daily to the World Health Organization and other international agencies. Positive results detected via rapid antigen testing (RATs), including at-home tests, are reported and tracked via a separate registry which are sometimes leaked to the local media who conflate them with official figures.

On Thursday, the government announced easing of some Covid restrictions. These include lifting limits on crowd size for public events requiring Covid passes, extending the legally allowed closing times for bars and restaurants, and scrapping the mandatory rapid testing for schoolchildren. Restrictions for events held indoors were also eased.