19:46 / 10.04.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Experts warn that epidemiological measures could have long-term repercussions

Empty hospital beds

Empty hospital beds

Foto: Robert Anic / PIXSELL

After a little more than two years, 770 days in total, almost all epidemiological measures were abolished at midnight on Friday night. The measures have left Croatian society divided, with many calling them illogical, contradictory and unnecessary.

Sunday marked the second day since the restrictive coronavirus measures in Croatia were lifted. As Croatians try to return to the lives they knew before the coronavirus restrictions, mask and social distancing mandates, lockdowns, and highly questionable COVID-certificates, many have begun to wonder what the long-term effects of the epidemiological measures will be. Some experts are concerned that we may face a new epidemic of other diseases that were completely ignored by the health sector over the past two-years, with most procedures for diagnosing cancer cancelled outright. Meanwhile, data shows that the use of cancer treatment drugs dropped by about thirty percent last year. The director of the Clinic for Tumors in Zagreb, Dr. Ivan Milas is unsure how many diagnoses were missed over the past two years: “That's a difficult question, we'll probably have to wait at least a year or two, maybe even longer, but as far as morbidity it's unlikely that it will go down.”

There is also the issue of the mental health of citizens following two years of social distancing and self-isolation, especially for the younger population and senior citizens.

Currently there are the only measures that are still in place are the mandatory wearing of masks in the health and social care systems, and in pharmacies, as well as some restrictions with regards to border crossings. EU citizens crossing Croatia’s borders will no longer have to present an EU COVID-certificate. However, this will not apply to travelers from third countries.

The National Civil Protection Directorate decided to rescind the measures after agreeing that Croatia had achieved a high level of herd immunity, and that the coronavirus variants that are present in Croatia are much less virulent than the first strain. And while the measures have been rescinded, the decision to declare a pandemic in Croatia, which was adopted by the Health Minister in March of 2020, remains in force.

Source: HRT

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