Croatian government declares end to COVID-19 epidemic

NEWS 11.05.202313:38 0 komentara
Andriy Popov / Panthermedia / Profimedia

The Croatian government on Thursday declared an end to the COVID-19 epidemic and dissolved the national coronavirus crisis response team, saying that any further protection measures, given that the virus is still present among the population, would be decided by the Health Ministry.

The decision came after the World Health Organisation declared an end to to the coronavirus pandemic as a global health emergency.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in his opening remarks at the cabinet meeting that it was important to draw lessons from this health emergency, the biggest pandemic in the last 100 years, in confronting similar crises in the future.

He said that the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) would issue recommendations on how to behave in new circumstances related to COVID-19.

Citing the HZJZ’s estimate, Health Minister Vili Beros said that the coronavirus would most likely remain permanently present in the population, with greater or lesser intensity.

The coronavirus epidemic was declared in Croatia on 11 March 2020, after the WHO declared the pandemic.

The first coronavirus case in Croatia was recorded on 25 February 2020, and by 27 March over 500 cases were confirmed. The first death was reported on 18 March.

Between 25 February 2020 and 8 May 2023, a total of 1,273,256 people were reported to have contracted the coronavirus, of whom 18,213 died and 1,254,564 recovered.

The first year of the epidemic saw a lockdown in the spring, online classes, a ban on gatherings in the street, and e-passes allowing people to leave their place of residence. Strict restrictions were in place from the end of March until mid-May 2020, after which they were gradually eased.

The imposition of restrictions sparked protests by coronavirus sceptics against mandatory mask wearing and other protection measures.

The first batch of vaccines arrived in Croatia at the end of December 2020, at the height of the infection, when over 90 people died daily and the number of new infections exceeded 4,500.

At the peak of the fourth wave of the epidemic in Croatia, on 10 November 2021, 7,315 new infections were recorded in a single day. However, the start of 2022 saw a change in the development of the epidemic with the gradual domination of the Omicron variant of the virus, which was spreading faster but mostly without serious consequences.

By 7 May 2023, 59.96 per cent of the total population, or 71.34 per cent of adults, were vaccinated against COVID-19.

The prime minister once again expressed regret over the loss of life and extended condolences to the families of the people who died.

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