Virus surge persists in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia

Oct 22, 2021, 7:33 PM | Updated: Oct 23, 2021, 7:35 am
FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 file photo, people wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, at the Belgra...

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 file photo, people wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, at the Belgrade Fair makeshift vaccination center, Serbia. Serbia on Wednesday Oct. 20, 2021, introduced COVID-19 passes for indoor venues late at night following weeks of surging infections and relatively low vaccination rates. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia on Saturday is set to launch partial COVID-19 passes while Croatia and Slovenia reported high daily rates of infections, as countries with low vaccination rates grapple with a persisting virus surge.

Serbia has seen thousands of news cases daily for weeks now and recorded more than 50 deaths each day, in the country of 7 million where about half of adults have been fully jabbed and tens of thousands have received booster doses.

On Saturday, authorities reported an additional 6,748 new infections in the past 24 hours and 60 fatalities from COVID-19. The Balkan nation has confirmed more than 1 million infections since the start of the pandemic and nearly 10,000 deaths.

Experts have harshly criticized the government decision to introduce COVID-19 passes for indoor spaces only from 10 p.m. They said the move was too little too late and that stricter measures are needed to curb the raging virus.

“It’s scandalous and far too late,” retired epidemiologist Zoran Radovanovic told N1 television.

Serbia’s government initially was reluctant to impose any measures, urging people to get vaccinated instead. Face masks have been obligatory indoors in the Balkan country but there have been no limits for gatherings or work at nightclubs, bars or restaurants.

Starting Saturday evening, visitors will have to provide COVID-19 passes showing evidence of vaccination, a negative test or that they have recovered from the disease in the past seven months. Officials said more than 2,000 inspections will control whether the new rules are being implemented.

The virus situation has been alarming also in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe where vaccination rates are lower than the European Union average. Romania has approved the tightening of rules from Monday as hospitals filled up and infections soared to record numbers.

Slovenia on Saturday said the number of confirmed daily cases has reached a nine-month high and a positivity rate of about 30% in the country of about 2 million people. Slovenia has fully vaccinated 53% of the population of 2 million. Just over 5,000 people have died of COVID-19.

Croatia too is reporting a surge in daily new cases to more than 3,500 over the past days — the daily number of confirmed cases has risen by 1,600 since last weekend, authorities said.

The government so far has imposed COVID-19 passes for the health and social service workers, but not the general population. Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic on Saturday called on citizens to vaccinate — Croatia’s vaccination rate also stands at around 50%.

“Vaccination is seen globally as the best solution and we must all help those citizens who still have doubts to decide in favor of it,” he said.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Mount Semeru releases volcanic materials during an eruption as seen from Lumajang district, East Ja...
Associated Press

Indonesian leader visits eruption survivors, vows to rebuild

LUMAJANG, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s president on Tuesday visited areas devastated by a powerful volcanic eruption that killed at least 22 people and left thousands homeless, and vowed that communities would be quickly rebuilt. Clouds of hot ash shot high into the sky and an avalanche of lava and searing gas swept as far as […]
23 hours ago
Japanese lawmakers visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. A group of about 100 J...
Associated Press

About 100 Japanese lawmakers visit controversial shrine

TOKYO (AP) — A group of about 100 Japanese lawmakers prayed at a Tokyo shrine viewed by China and the Koreas as a symbol of Japanese wartime aggression on Tuesday, 80 years after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Many of the lawmakers, including nine vice ministers and special aides in the Cabinet of Prime Minister […]
23 hours ago
This combination of 2021 photos shows Philadelphia Eagles' Jason Kelce,, left, and Billie Eilish in...
Associated Press

‘Cheugy,’ ‘omicron’ among 2021’s most mispronounced words

“Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce have something in common — broadcasters butcher their names. And virtually everyone is having trouble with “omicron.” All four made it onto this year’s list of most mispronounced words as compiled by the U.S. Captioning Company, […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Voters sign in at Frank McCourt High School for New York's party primaries, June 22, 2021, i...
Associated Press

New York City poised to give voting rights to noncitizens

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City, long a beacon for immigrants, is on the cusp of becoming the largest places in the country to give noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. Legally documented, voting-age noncitizens comprise nearly one in nine of the city’s 7 million voting-age inhabitants. Under a bill nearing approval, […]
23 hours ago
Two Afghan men pray at a bus station in Herat, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, before they ...
Associated Press

Desperation drives thousands of Afghans a day across borders

HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — Over the course of an hour on a recent night, the bus waiting in the Herat station filled with passengers. Mostly young men, they had no luggage, just the clothes on their backs, maybe a bag with some bread and water for the long road ahead of them. That road is […]
23 hours ago
Pearl Harbor survivor Herb Elfring speaks at a news conference in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Sunday, D...
Associated Press

Survivors gather to remember those lost at Pearl Harbor

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A few dozen survivors of Pearl Harbor are expected to gather Tuesday at the site of the Japanese bombing 80 years ago to remember those killed in the attack that launched the U.S. into World War II. Herb Elfring, 99, said he’s glad to return to Pearl Harbor considering he […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Virus surge persists in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia