21:47 / 15.09.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

New COVID cases rising rapidly

Zvonimir Šostar

Zvonimir Šostar

Foto: HRT / HRT

The latest COVID surge continued on Wednesday with public health authorities reporting 1,835 new infections, 600 more than a week ago. 

The number of active cases jumped by 13 hundred from just a day ago. Another seven people have died of COVID. As the virus spreads, more people are in need of testing and long lines at testing sites, not seen since spring, are back.

"We're seeing crowds at the Bureau too. This just proves that the virus is indeed spreading and the numbers are going up. It's a sign we should not take lightly," said Zvonimir Šoštar, the head the Teaching Institute for Public Health Dr. Andrija Štampar.

Starting on October 1, health care workers will be required to show a COVID certificate to come to work. Those who are do not have one, will have to get tested every week. This will be free at the beginning but Prime Minister Plenković says it is unsustainable in the long run.

"We can pay for it in the short term, but in the long term, the state cannot foot the bill. It's senseless," the PM said, adding, "There is more anger about this among those who took the vaccine, because they are working more than those who are self-isolating. This is starting to feel a bit ethically questionable."

He said he was waiting on Health Minister Vili Beroš to come up with a proposal outlining the details of the policy.

Meanwhile, the stand-off between the parents of an eighth-grader who refuses to wear a mask in class and an elementary school in Krapinske Toplice continued on Wednesday. Anti-maskers have been protesting at the school since Friday, when some stormed the building. This prompted the school to hire security guards. Now, police are also guarding the building. The student and his parents again spent the entire morning in front of the building.

"My son is bothered by the mask. He can't breathe and it's suffocating him. He suffered through all of last year and he's had enough,” said Kristijan Gačina, the boy’s father.

The school’s principal, Samson Štibohar, said that after talking to the parents again, he was skeptical a solution could be found.

"What I was hoping would not become the new normal is still happening today. We are hoping reason will prevail. We had a professional team talk to the father and son, I was also present at the meeting. But, I'm not sure the end is in sight," the principal said.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković commented today on the situation at the school. He said the actions of the protesters were unacceptable.

"I really don't understand this kind of annoying behavior because we were extremely lenient, exceptionally flexible, with our measures. I know we can't all travel, but had we spent some time in other countries, we would know, especially people like this, who are creating this kind of circus, that we were very soft with the restrictions,” Plenković said.

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