Epidemiologist Branko Kolarić (Photo: HRT) Epidemiologist Branko Kolarić (Photo: HRT)

Speaking in a prime time interview on HRT on Sunday, epidemiologist Branko Kolarić said Croatia could double its current case count if the public refuses to abide by prevention measures.

“Yes, it is possible we could get to 2,000 cases a day. We went from 500 to 1,000, so it’s not impossible that we’ll get to 2,000,” Kolarić said adding that irresponsible behavior could result in the health care system being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. Infections went from 400-500 at the beginning of the week to 1,000 plus by Thursday and Friday.

“The measures we have in place may not be enough to reduce the number of new cases and I am worried the health care system will quickly become overburdened,” said Kolarić.

Croatia currently has 548 hospitalized Covid patients. Slovenia’s main treatment center in Ljubljana is nearing full capacity. The Czech Republic has an agreement with Germany to treat its patients should its system collapse.

Kolarić said it is likely public health authorities will have to tighten prevention measures if the number of cases continues to rise. Currently, Croatia has some of the most liberal prevention measures in Europe, but did makes masks mandatory in all closed public spaces this week.