ZAGREB (Reuters) – Croatia has intensified efforts this week to fight the coronavirus after exceeding 2,000 daily cases over the weekend, ordering the use of masks outdoors and recommending work from home wherever possible.
Also from this week, Slovenia, its northwestern neighbour in the European Union, will allow citizens to leave their municipal areas only in exceptional cases, after having reported 1,675 new infections on Sunday.
On Monday, Croatia, a nation of about 4 million people, reported 828 infections, down from Sunday’s daily record of 2,421 new cases. Typically, the number of reported cases falls on Mondays, as a result of less testing over the weekend.
From this week Croats will have to wear face masks outdoors whenever it is not possible to maintain the required physical distance.
Public gatherings are limited to no more than 50, with up to 30 people allowed to attend weddings or funerals and up to 15 at family gatherings. Companies have been urged to organise work from home wherever possible.
Another Croatian neighbour, Bosnia, also introduced new measures after last week’s pike in infections, with active cases rising nearly 70% to 13,950 on Monday and total cases reaching 41,596 in the country of about 3.3 million.
From Monday, masks will be obligatory outdoors at all times in Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, where all non-urgent medical treatments will be suspended for the next two weeks and all health institutions obliged to allocate 30% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients.
In the Serb Republic, the country’s other region, primary and secondary schools were ordered on Monday to switch to online classes for a week.
(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps)
(Reporting by Igor Ilic in Zagreb and Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Tomasz Janowski)