Health Minister Vili Beroš sent a stern warning to the public on Friday, saying health care workers should not have to work incredibly hard just to counter the carelessness of individuals who refuse to abide by Covid prevention measures.
“The health care system is functioning for now thanks to the hard work of our health care workers. This can continue for a while longer, but it has its limits," Beroš warned at a news conference on Friday.
Hospitals admitted more than a 100 new Covid patients in just 24 hours, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to above 500. Osijek General Hospital, for example, is at 80% of capacity for Covid-19 patients.
Beroš also said the virus had infiltrated 9 hospitals around the country. In Zagreb, the Infectious Diseases Hospital is at full capacity, while the second designated Covid-19 hospital, Dubrava, is filling up at a rapid pace, said Ivica Lukšić, who heads the Covid-19 Center at Dubrava Hospital. He did have some positive news, which was that there had not been a surge in very serious cases that required intensive care. Representatives of hospitals in Split and Rijeka said they were doing well and were able to meet the needs of their communities for now.
The head of the Croatian Physicians' Union Renata Čulinović-Čajić said the situation was worrisome and expressed some frustration over the fact that the public seemed to take the threat too lightly.
"I just don't know how to prove to Croatian citizens just how important it is for everyone to take this issue very seriously and to fully abide by all of the prevention measures," she said.
Croatia has around 14,400 hospital beds, 1,400 of them are in intensive care units, and there are about 800 ventilators in the entire country. Minister Beroš said this should be enough to get Croatia through the pandemic, but only if everyone cooperates and works together to reduce the spread of the virus.