21:40 / 12.01.2022.

Author: Katja Miličić

Another new record in daily COVID cases

New record and new testing guidelines

New record and new testing guidelines

Foto: Ivo Cagalj /Kristina Stedul Fabac/Hrvoje Jelavic / PIXSELL

Croatia broke another record in daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, reporting 9,894 infections.

Public health authorities also reported another 27 COVID-related deaths. Hospitals are treating 1,822 patients, 220 of whom are on ventilators. The City of Zagreb and Split-Dalmatia County had the highest numbers of new cases. Doctors at the hospital in Split that is treating COVID patients say they are overwhelmed. 

"Right now in our hospital we have 57 patients in intensive care. That has never happened before and I could never have imagined that we would be in this situation," said Dr. Božidar Duplančić.

Split-Dalmatia County reported more than 1,500 cases on Wednesday, while Zagreb recorded more than 2,400.

Public health authorities have issued new guidelines for testing and quarantine. Under the new guidance, rapid antigen tests will be enough to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis. With the rapid rise in cases over the past few weeks, people have been waiting up to a week for a PCR test and a few days more for the results. Public health officials said they wanted to speed up testing by using rapid antigen tests, which tend to be quite reliable in individuals with symptoms, and broaden the network of testing locations, which will now include family doctors’ offices. Primary care physicians are not at all happy with the change.

“We’re not implementing the restrictions that we have. No one is checking for compliance. We do not have the willpower to impose tighter restrictions and now the burden is going to be thrown onto the backs of family doctors,” said Dr. Nataša Ban Toskić, the president of the Croatian Family Medicine Coordinating Board.

Ban Toskić, who works at a local health care center with several family doctor’s offices and shared waiting rooms asks, "Are we really going to have potentially infected patients, or rather, suspected cases of COVID, mixing in our waiting rooms with other patients who have chronic conditions, cancer? Will our offices become a breeding ground for this illness? Where are we going to perform these tests?"

Family doctors are also complaining that the decision, announced only earlier this week, was made without their input and gives them no time to prepare.

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