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.
Since the beginning of October, 74 percent of those hospitalized with Covid-19 and 80 percent on a ventilator across Croatia have not been vaccinated.
In the introductory part of the regular session of the Government, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković commented on the situation with the coronavirus epidemic.
"We see that we have entered a period of colder weather, which has brought a significant increase in corona cases," said Plenković, noting that all this indicates the importance and necessity of vaccination, especially the elderly.
"Every fourth person over the age of 65 who is not vaccinated is at high risk if they become infected with Covid-19 and we cannot help but notice that coronavirus has already claimed a huge number of lives, that with the current death rate we will exceed 9,000 deaths. However, today we have vaccines and there is no reason for such numbers to be high", added Plenković, calling on citizens to take responsibility.
He reported that as of early October, 74 percent of those hospitalized and 80 percent of those on a ventilator have not been vaccinated.
"The unvaccinated are the reservoir where the virus spreads and mutations occur. The vaccinated can also transmit the virus, but that possibility is less," the Prime Minister said.
In the upcoming winter flight schedule, Zagreb Airport will have direct flights to Switzerland, reports Croatian Aviation.
In fact, Zagreb will be the only Croatian airport that will have regular flights to Switzerland in the upcoming winter flight schedule. Although in the summer flight schedule almost all coastal airports were connected to Switzerland (mainly Basel and Zurich), in the winter flight schedule there are generally no regular flights to the coast, and there will be none this winter.
The Croatian national airline, Croatia Airlines, will also continue to operate on a regular route between Zagreb and Zurich this winter. 11 flights a week have been announced, daily in the morning and 4 flights in the afternoon, every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
In December, during the holidays, the company plans to increase the number of weekly flights on this route, from 11 to 14 per week, or twice a day, but the realization of flights will, of course, depend on the booking status of individual flights.
The departure of the plane from Zagreb to Zurich in the morning is scheduled for 08 hours and 35 minutes, which allows passengers from Osijek, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik to travel to the largest city in Switzerland with one short stop in Zagreb.
Ryanair will connect Basel and Zagreb this winter. Namely, on December 3, the Irish airline will introduce the route Zagreb - Basel - Zagreb, which will operate only twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Flights have been confirmed for the winter flight schedule.
The Swiss national airline, Swiss International Air Lines, made its last flight between Zurich and Zagreb in October 2019. This line was in circulation only during the summer, but the company discontinued it before the outbreak of the global pandemic.
Today at the crisis headquarters a meeting to discuss a further response to the pandemic was held and the Minister of Health Vili Beroš reported at the Government session on the latest data on coronavirus infections.
"In Croatia, 3,053 new cases were recorded today, which is 28.24 percent of the number tested. There are 939 people in hospitals and 131 people on ventilators. As we announced, today is the meeting of the crisis headquarters, we will discuss a further response to the pandemic," said Health Minister Vili Beros.
He added that "An increase of new cases of 56 percent compared to last Wednesday is a call for an additional much-needed dose of caution," he said.
He also warned of the danger of "twindemia", i.e. a joining of the coronavirus and flu. So far, 140 cases of influenza have been recorded in Croatia, which arrived earlier this year than usual.
The insurance industry has been affected by covid-19, just like every other industry around the world. As changes are made throughout society to compensate for the pandemic, insurance needs are changing to ensure coverage. The International Journal of Environmental Research has authored numerous papers on the topic, and they state that in some areas of the industry they have seen a decrease in premiums, with continued reductions expected to offer coverage to their consumers. They also claim that the cost to the insurers for claims is costing more than the cost of the premiums that they have coming in.
There is currently a huge strain on the investment portfolios of the insurance companies. They rely on these to keep money built up to pay the claims off. There must be a fund set up for every insurance company that allows them to pay for claims that are filed. It is a requirement by law.
As the funds from investments decrease, due to the market failing and people selling out, the profits of the company decrease. As most of you know, if a company does not make a profit, they will not stay in business long. It is hard for smaller companies to stay afloat since the covid-19 pandemic began. Since the changes that have been made is going to be the new way of life, the insurers need to find better ways to increase their incomes, without having to raise the cost of the premiums for the consumers that are already struggling.
As consumers continue to struggle paying bills, insurance companies are seeing an increase in late premium payments. The carriers are pushing for agents to accept them, without any late fees or penalties being added on. This causes an even bigger strain on the insurer because it affects their cash flow.
Cash flow is a combination of money earned, money spend, and money going to profits. Past due payments means that the business must cover extra costs from funds that should be going to other areas of the business. A negative impact on the cash flow decreases the profits of the company and causes an industry wide panic of trying to keep their doors open for business.
As mentioned earlier, premiums have been decreasing for insurance agents to keep customers. As lockdowns occur, jobs are lost, and incomes decrease, the need for insurance has dramatically decreased. For instance, pregnancy insurance may no longer be needed because people with less income can get help from state programs to pay for the bills.
Even though insurance is extremely important, people are choosing to decrease their coverage due to costs that they cannot afford anymore. As the income from premiums decrease insurance companies struggle even more to keep up with their bills, and the claims that they are still required to pay.
Coverage disputes are happening throughout the world daily. Covid-19 was not included in most policies, so people that are dealing with the virus also must deal with their insurance carriers. They have been finding that claims filed under coronavirus are being turned down. Many policies have clauses stating that they do not cover world events that are out of the control of the public, or private, sectors.
Even though the pandemic has affected all of us in separate ways, the insurance sectors are stepping up and making changes to ensure that their consumers are getting the coverage they need. Needed riders are added onto existing policies, and new plans include covid-19 issues. The future of insurance companies may look bleak now, but the agents that stick it out will get back to business as normal soon.
The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has published a new Covid-19 map on which the epidemiological picture of Croatia is presented somewhat worse than last week.
The city of Zagreb remained in dark red, and was joined by North-eastern Croatia, which includes Slavonia, Sisak-Moslavina County and Karlovac County.
Red means a 14-day rate of 75 to 200 with a positive rate greater than 4 percent, and areas where the 14-day rate is infected is 200 to 500, and dark red areas mean a 14-day rate is greater than 500.
The ECDC map is advisory, but some EU Member States rely on it when introducing epidemiological restrictions upon return to the country.
The meteorological autumn has just reached its halfway mark, and the AccuWeather meteorologists are already predicting what our winter will be like. This week, they released an annual winter forecast for Europe, to help residents predict what costs await them due to rising energy costs but also the impact of the coronavirus.
Thus, AccuWeather forecasters say, among other things, that the shift of the polar vortex to the south will bring stormy weather conditions to southern Europe and the Mediterranean, so the coming winter will be marked by strong winds.
Some of the strongest storm winds are most likely to hit southern France, Spain and Portugal, and that area of Europe, after recording record rainfall this autumn, may still be hit by floods. In other parts of southern Europe, meteorologists predict, very wet winters will prevail, especially in the Balkans, where heavy rainfall is expected with above-average temperatures.
This weekend in Dubrovnik the Lapad Run will be held in which Du Motion and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Public Health Institute will jointly mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The whole day start at 9:30am this Sunday in the bay of Lapad.
"We invite the people of Dubrovnik to respond as much as possible to Sunday's race and to support this noble cause,” said the director of Du Motion Alen Boskovic. He explained how participants can choose between walking or running on two sections - 5 or 10 km, all in order to raise awareness of the importance of regular preventive examinations and early detection of the disease.
According to the current data of the County Institute of Public Health, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, one case of breast cancer is detected every four days, while at the country level as many as six new cases are detected daily. However, the disease is curable in over 95 percent of cases if detected in time.
All those interested can register for the race until Friday, October 22 via the official Du Motion website. And here is a link - du-motion.com
Covid-19 registration requirements
In accordance with the current epidemiological measures of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, all runners over 14 must meet at least one of the conditions for participation: possession of a valid EU digital COVID certificate, negative PCR test or rapid antigen test, recovery from COVID-19 or vaccination certificate.
The Dubrovnik public bus company, Libertas, has finally introduced the use of contactless payment.
Libertas has announced that it is now possible to pay for monthly passes, bus tickets and other tickets with credit cards rather than cash.
This move, which clearly should have been made years ago, is also and added advantage with the current Covid-19 safety situation.