Molecular biologist Ivan Đikić appearing on the program Nedjeljom u 2 on HTV (Photo: HRT) Molecular biologist Ivan Đikić appearing on the program Nedjeljom u 2 on HTV (Photo: HRT)

The current situation was not cause for panic, but definitely called for high caution, Đikić said.

"This is because the spread of the virus is out of control. We don't know how many people in the population are infected. We have opened the borders. We have a large number of tourists, some of whom are likely infected while others are not. All of this makes us vulnerable. Thirdly, we no longer have the option of a total shutdown that would block the spread of the virus," said Đikić.

Appearing in a Sunday current affairs talk-show on HRT, Đikić said Croatians needed to be more disciplined with coronavirus prevention measures. He said wearing masks in indoor spaces and public transport, and physical distancing were essential to curbing the spread of the virus. Furthermore, everyone needed to abide by these measures, from politicians to ordinary citizens, he underscored.

"Once we re-establish these practices, the threat will not be as great. I am confident that Croatia can do what South Korea did. We can increase testing, we can include more scientists - geneticist, diagnosticians, and mathematicians – who can help make sure we are better prepared by fall," he said.

Đikić is the director of the Institute of Biochemistry II at Goethe University in Frankfurt.