Two more individuals have tested positive for the coronavirus, confirmed officials at the Dr. Fran Mihalejvić Infectious Diseases Hospital in Zagreb on Thursday evening.
The two latest cases are Croatian citizens who recently returned from Italy and have been hospitalized in Pula. The tally on Thursday jumped by 8 cases. Earlier in the day, a patient in Sisak was confirmed to be the first person to test positive in the Sisak and Petrinja region. The individual was returning from Italy and reported to border police. The patient has been hospitalized in Sisak.
Interior Minister Davor Božinović announced Croatia added more countries to a list of those whose nationals will have to be quarantined if they want to enter the country.
“We have added more countries whose citizens will be subject to strict controls at the border carried out by border police and border sanitary inspection officers. These measures apply to citizens of Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, the UK, the Netherlands, and Sweden. They will be required to undergo strict self-quarantine measures,” Božinović said during the daily coronavirus briefing.
Health Minister Vili Beroš said the good news was that the virus still did not appear to be transmitting locally.
“It is important to note that all of the patients that we have identified are either directly or indirectly linked to infection with the virus abroad. This means there are still no signs of local transmission,” Beroš said.
Istria will suspend school and college classes on Friday to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Schools will switch to remote learning. Parents, meanwhile, are trying to figure out how to take care of their kids while they are at work.
Health authorities are not recommending right now that Primorje-Gorski Kotar Coutny close its schools, but County Prefect Zlatko Komadina argued the same measures should be put in place as in neighboring Istria County.
“There is no reason not to introduce the same measures here as in Istria County because we are exposed due to our proximity to Italy and the flow of people between our counties, given that Italians are basically barred from entering the country,” said Komadina.
Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak met with her EU colleagues in Brussels today to exchange experiences on how to keep schools running during a pandemic. She said Croatian schools were well prepared for switching to on-line classes.
“Now is the time for principals and teachers to work on this problem and find ways to do it. I think we have set up a good framework. When compared to other countries, our approach is very good, among the best. However, we need a lot of cooperation from schools, parents, and students in order for this to succeed,” said Divjak.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković appealed to the public today to take the coronavirus guidelines issued by health officials seriously in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. The government will also introduced measures to offset some of the damage the coronavirus is expected to inflict on the economy.
“For now, the European Commission has earmarked a package of 25 billion euros to help businesses. Part of that will go to Croatia and we will try to use it as best we can. We will deploy a combination of national and European measures, like other countries will be doing. I'm going to remind everyone again, given that we have had consolidated public finances since this government has been in power, salaries and pensions are safe,” Plenković said.
Parliament is paring its activities down to a minimum because of the coronavirus. The Sabor has cancelled all dedicated issue sessions, round tables, international activities and organized visits.
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