Thursday, 04 June 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

According to currently available data in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, no new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours. Nine days have now passed since the last new cases of Covid-19 in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County. In fact, the number of people making a full recovery every day is more than the number of new infections. Over the past 24 hours three people have made a full recovery, one from Konavle and two from Dubrovnik. All the of the remaining findings from Thursday were negative, and 83 samples taken on Friday are being processed.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak began there have been 118 cases across the county, and 90 people have made a full recovery and unfortunately 8 people have died. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,620 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.

As of today, 5 positive patients are hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital with 1 patient in the Intensive Care Unit.

A total of 27 citizens are in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.

 

“I think these trousers must have shrunk in the washing machine,” I cried to my wife as I struggled to get the top button fixed. Ever the diplomat my wife replied, “I don’t think it’s a problem with the trousers.” Probably like half the nation self-isolation hadn’t been kind on my waistline. I am not really one for exercise anyway so the excuse of being at home non-stop actually worked out quite well for me. That was until planking arrived.

“One of my clients has told me about this fitness program, he has lost 10 kilos, and the exercise only lasts for 20 seconds,” exclaimed my wife. She did say a lot more but honestly all I can remember is 20 seconds. Now that is a fitness program tailor-made for me, less than half a minute every day. “He will send me the exact program and what to do,” she added. As Renée Zellweger once famously said “You had me at hello.”  Or in my case “You had me at 20 seconds.”

Without asking any more details I promised to participate. We watched the videos, it looked easy, too easy to be true. You basically hold your body as if you are doing a press up but with your elbows on the floor. Another bonus I noticed was that I didn’t have to move my body. This was going to be a dream, flat stomach here I come!

“I’ll go first,” I said and as I raised my body into the correct position I discovered that this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. After just ten seconds I was shaking like a man connected to the electric chair. Muscles I didn’t even know I had, were trembling. “And that’s 20 seconds,” he wife said as I collapsed like a sack of potatoes to the floor. Gasping for air as a fish out of water I said “Ok, it will probably be easier next time.”

For four days I held my body in this position on our living room floor for 20 seconds. And every time my body said “Stop, what the hell are you doing to me.” “According to our program we have a day off tomorrow,” said my wife. Praise the Lord! A break from 20 seconds of pain at least for one day. And of course to celebrate our day off I bought two large Snickers bars, which kind of defeated the object.

The following day I was prepared for the 20 seconds of torture when I heard the fatal words. “Ok, today we start from the new timings of 30 seconds,” said my wife as I lay on the floor ready for my next 20 seconds. Wait! What happened to 20 seconds, I didn’t sign up for this! As ever I hadn’t thought this through. It turned out that my 20 second dream was now seriously extended. “So we stop at 30 seconds right,” I asked my wife. “No, when we get through to the end of the program then we must do 5 minutes,” she smiled.

My first thought was – I think it best if I just give up now. 20 second was like 5 minutes for me anyway. But, against my better judgement I pushed on with some new found determination. I have now, somehow, got to 45 seconds, although every time I am shaking like I am sitting on a washing machine on the spin cycle. Am I losing weight, well I’m not sure. Am I determined to reach 5 minutes, hell yes! The American writer Christian Nestell Bovee once wrote, “A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough.”

 

Eight days have passed and no new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the whole of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, in fact more patients are now making a full recovery on a daily basis than are contracting the virus.

According to currently available data in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, no new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The remaining findings from Wednesday were all negative, and 22 samples sent for analysis on Thursday are being processed. Three people have been made a full recovery in the county, 1 patient from Metkovic and 2 from Župa.

A total of 118 people have been infected in the county since the Covid-19 pandemic began with 87 patients making a full recovery and 8 people have passed away from the virus. A total of 2,537 samples have been sent to Zagreb for testing.

As of today, 5 positive patients are hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, with one patient in the Intensive Care Unit.

A total of 27 citizens are in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.

 

The 2020 tourist season in Croatia will almost certainly be unrecognisable from previous years as a new Covid-19 future dawns over travellers. And whilst this year will be far from a record breaking one there is some hope that the main height of the summer season will not be as bad as first predicted.

The Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, stated that so far there have been no major cancellations of bookings for July, August and September, offering some light at the end of the tunnel for the country’s tourism industry. And as the Covid-19 restrictions are eased on what seems a daily basis, at least on a European level, the more tourists slowly enter the country. After the third phase of lifting of Covid-19 measures in Croatia came into force, on the 11th of May, hotels, cafés and restaurants were once again allowed to reopen their doors to guests.

So will this Covid-19 dominated tourist season see prices dumped in the hospitality sector, according to Cappelli “they are the matter of the market, the demand and supply."

 

 

 

Some believe that by lowering their prices they will make some gain, while others retain their prices as they believe that what they offer is good enough without lower prices, the minister said.

He also trying to motivate Croatians to holiday at home this year. In 2019 domestic holidaymakers made up around 12 percent of all turnover, or around 1.5 billion Euros.

Asked whether he agreed with the European Commission's assessments that criteria for arrivals of tourists could be stability and strength of a country's public healthcare system, apart from prices and locations, the minister said that "our excellent epidemiological situation and the authorities' timely response" were the biggest assets in the tourist trade currently. "We are recognised as the most efficient and the best in the fight against coronavirus. Our public healthcare system has shown its readiness and important role in that fight. It is our positive marketing," he said.

In the third phase of the relaxing of Covid-19 measures across Croatia, on the 11th of May, internal air transport was once again allowed to operate. The national airline of Croatia, Croatia Airlines, reopened flights between Zagreb and Dubrovnik and Split, offering a twice-daily service. And now the airline has stated that this temporary flight schedule will remain in effect until at least the 24th of May. Pre-Covid-19 Croatia Airlines had operated flights to Dubrovnik three to four times daily. 

The carrier's CEO, Jasmin Bajić, said on Monday, “In the coming days, we will follow the advice of health authorities and will adjust our operations accordingly. We are preparing several scenarios for the wider resumption of air traffic, and I’m hopeful that we will be able to announce some new destinations very soon”.

 

The French government on Thursday recommended to its citizens who want to spend their summer holidays in Europe this year to check how the situation with the coronavirus pandemic is developing before booking.

"I advised them to wait because for now I do not have enough insight into the sanitary situation and what we can do in one, two or three months," said Secretary of State for European Affairs Amélie de Montchaline to RTL radio.

"We must not run in front of the cart. We need to make sure that the second wave has not started," she added, but did not rule out the possibility that the French could spend their summer vacations on the Mediterranean or elsewhere in Europe.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday that the French could spend their summer in France in July and August. Hotels, restaurants and tour operators have been closed since mid-March, and 62,000 tourism companies have used 6.2 billion euros in government loans.

The Secretary of State pointed out that for "European destinations, decisions should be made in a coordinated manner, following the developments in the border areas". For now, only cross-border workers, people with a justified family reason or those returning home can move between France and other EU countries, she reminded. The situation is also complex for tourist trips outside Europe, as many countries have closed borders unilaterally or have an uncertain sanitary situation.

 

In the past 24 hours there have been eight new cases of coronavirus infection recorded in Croatia, meaning that since the Covid-19 pandemic a total of 2,221 people have been infected with the virus, reported the National Civil Protection Headquarters on Thursday.

"So far, a total of 50,340 people have been tested, of which 1,603 were tested in the last 24 hours," said the director of the Croatian Institute of Emergency Medicine, Maja Grba Bujevic, at today’s press conference.

There are four fewer patients in hospital across the country, which means that 146 people are in hospital, and of these, seven patients are on a respirator.

The total number of 1,850 patients have made a full recovery, which is 16 more than yesterday’s figures. And yesterday there were no new deaths from the virus, meaning that the death toll in Croatia since the outbreak began remains at 94. To be this number into context the deaths per million population in Croatia is 23, whilst in Spain this figure is 584, in Italy 519, in the UK 495 and in the USA 258.

 

Seven days have passed and no new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the whole of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County. According to currently available data in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, no new cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The remaining findings from Tuesday were all negative, and 64 samples sent for analysis on Wednesday are being processed.

Since the outbreak began a total of 118 people have been infected in the county, with 84 making a full recovery and unfortunately 8 patients have died.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,515 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis. As of today, 6 positive patients are hospitalized, 5 in the Infectious Diseases Department of the Dubrovnik General Hospital and 1 patient has been intubated in the Intensive Care Unit.

A total of 25 citizens are in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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