19:09 / 03.12.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

COVID cases are on a downward trend, health officials say

COVID-19 test

COVID-19 test

Foto: Ilustracija / Shutterstock

Croatia reported 4,500 new coronavirus infections and 53 COVID-19 deaths. 

Infections are down by about 900 cases from last week but the test positivity rate remains a high 37%.

Despite the positivity rate, public health officials say the latest wave has crested and we are now in a downward trend.

"Now we can say we have established a downward trend since we've seen a drop in cases for several days in a row. Yesterday's data from the ECDC on the 14-day incidence rate shows that Croatia has fewer than 1,600 cases per 100 thousand residents," said Goranka Petrović from the Croatian Public Health Bureau.

There are five counties where cases have not turned the corner: Međimurje, Varaždin, Koprivnica-Križevci, and Zagreb counties, as well as the City of Zagreb.

Hospitals are treating 2,400 COVID-19 patients.

"Hospitals are going to be overburdened for at least another month. Admissions only began to drop yesterday. The pressure is going to continue until the end of the year and we don't know what's going to happen next year. What is evident is that there is going to be a fifth wave,” said the head of the Croatian Medical Chamber, Krešimir Luetić.

Čakovec Hospital has received reinforcements. It had run out of staff to handle the volume of patients. Chief administrator Igor Šegović said that thanks to the help, the hospital has had to cut only a minimum of non-emergency services. Doctors and nurses working with COVID patients have also agreed not to use their vacation time until the pressure subsides.

Croatia is still seeing a high daily death toll from the virus. With the 53 deaths reported today, Croatia will have recorded 337 deaths since Monday. The Omicron variant has not been confirmed here yet. The results of the latest batch of samples sent for testing are expected in about a week, according to the Croatian Public Health Bureau.

Doctors and public health officials are still hammering on the message of the importance of vaccination. Only 54% of Croatia's total population is vaccinated.

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