18:00 / 09.07.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Epidemiologist warns of Delta variant

Covid variants

Covid variants

Foto: Pixabay / Pixabay

Alemka Markotić, the head of the University Hospital for Infectious Disease, warned that the more contagious Delta variant would soon become the dominant strain of coronavirus in Croatia and throughout Europe.

"The delta variant is taking over in Europe relatively quickly and is expected to completely dominate Europe by the end of August, and maybe even earlier. It is spreading extremely fast among younger populations, primarily due to the summer months increased travel. Portugal, Cyprus and Spain have been hit the worst. In Portugal, there are 3,000 new infections per day," said Markotić.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović, the director of the Civil Protection Directorate, removed his protective mask at Friday's press conference to underline benefits of vaccination and having the EU's Digital Covid Certificate - which he said was the key to freedom of movement and a return to a normal life.

Krunoslav Capak, director of the Public Health Institute, said the government was still not considering making vaccinations mandatory.

"As you know no one in the world has made vaccination against COVID obligatory. But I would say that this option is not off the table, because we have to bear in mind that COVID-19 has brought global finances, economics and social life to a standstill," said Capak.

For his part, President Zoran Milanović said he was opposed to forced vaccinations, calling it was undemocratic. He added, however, that he would support the measure if parliament voted in favour with a two-thirds majority.

Croatia recorded 87 new coronavirus infections over the past 24-hours; which is fewer than yesterday and when compared to the same day last week. No virus-related deaths were recorded since Thursday. There are currently 612 active cases in the country.

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