Health Minister: Surge in new cases is due to Omicron strain and holiday season

NEWS 04.01.2022 19:43
Vili Beroš
Source: Igor Soban/PIXSELL, Ilustracija

Rising coronavirus numbers are partly due to the appearance of the Omicron variant of the virus and partly due to gatherings and celebrations during the Christmas and New Year holidays, Health Minister Vili Beros said on Tuesday.

So far, there have been 113 highly likely cases of the new variant in Croatia, and of the 1,000 samples sent from Croatia to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, three have turned out to be positive.

New Covid cases keep growing by the week, and we can say that the fifth wave of the pandemic has started already, without any pause between it and the previous, fourth wave, the minister said.

Beros said that the highly transmissible Omicron variant will reach everybody and some of the vaccinated will not manage to avoid the infection.

“However, the immunized can expect milder symptoms and better protection,” he said.

Asked by the press whether any harsher restrictions are on the table, the minister said that the current Covid protocols are well-balanced, underlining the importance of avoiding unnecessary contacts.

Costs incurred to curb impact of Covid-19 exceed €400 million

At the end of 2021, costs incurred in the battle against the virus exceeded 3 billion kuna, he said.

Commenting on the appearance of flurona, the simultaneous infection with coronavirus and influenza virus, the minister said that a 27-year-old female patient, the first case of this mix of the two infections, was stable and in good shape.

The head of the Zagreb-based hospital for infectious diseases, Dr. Alemka Markotic, said that a mix of two or more infections was neither extraordinary nor spectacular.

She said that the 27-year-old patient had developed mild symptoms.

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