19:19 / 02.10.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

New cases peaking; COVID certificate mandate for health care workers starts Monday

Health care workers must have COVID certificate or get tested regularly

Health care workers must have COVID certificate or get tested regularly

Foto: Zdrav život / HRT

Croatia reported 1,448 new coronavirus infections and 14 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday. 

Hospitals are treating 746 patients, 96 of whom are on ventilators. The health care system is feeling the strain of the latest wave of the pandemic. In an effort to sustain the system, workers in health care and the social welfare system will be required to have a COVID certificate to work starting on Monday.

More than 50 thousand Croatian citizens have undergone medical treatment for COVID-19 at a cost of more than 850 million kuna to the health care system, according to the head of the Croatian Health Insurance Institute, Lucijan Vukelić.

Sisak-Moslavina County, with a population of less than 160 thousand residents, reported 49 new cases on Saturday. The county is experiencing a surge in cases in the fourth wave. Inoslav Brkić, the head of the local public health bureau said the reason was that people had become too relaxed after a long period of low case numbers.

"In our case the increase in new infection coincides with the grape harvest season. People are overly relaxed and they are not practicing prevention measures,” Brkić said.

The City of Zagreb has the largest number of new cases in the country, 309. Public health authorities suspect the leading culprits are weddings, sports events, and other large public gatherings.

Some hospital administrators are concerned about how they will control the status of their employees when the COVID certificate requirement goes into effect. Already short-staffed, Veceslav Bergman, the chief administrator of the Zagreb County Heath Care Center, worries he will lose more doctors.

"I am concerned we are going to have a lot of technical difficulties in the first few days. I am already short of doctors by some 15%. If we will have to exclude more of our doctors because they refuse the vaccine or refuse to get tested, it is going to be extremely difficult to provide adequate care to our patients,” Bergman said.

At Koprivnica General Hospital only around 10% of the staff is still unvaccinated. Chief administrator Mato Devčić says he is not worried.

"We have a good system in place to fight hospital outbreaks. Our nurses run a monitoring system that is very effective and we have a quality control officer. All of them work very effectively and we are fully ready," he said.

Patients entering hospitals will also be required to show a COVID certificate starting on Monday.

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