Croatia PM Andrej Plenkovic tests positive for COVID-19

Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic tested positive for the new coronavirus on Monday but is “feeling well”, his cabinet said, as the country hit a new record death toll.

Plenkovic, 50, who has led Croatia since 2016 as chief of the conservative HDZ party, started isolating two days ago after his wife contracted the virus.

He had initially tested negative but a new test on Monday was positive, the cabinet said, adding that he would isolate for 10 days.

“The Prime Minister is feeling well at the moment, continues his activities and carries out his duties from home, following the instructions of doctors and epidemiologists,” the cabinet said in a statement.

After broadly keeping its caseload under control, Croatia has been battling a steep surge of infections in recent weeks, with some 2,300 patients currently hospitalised in the country of 4.2 million.

On Monday authorities announced a record 74 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Health Minister Vili Beros also recently tested positive for the virus, but said Monday he would resume work.

Hospitals in Croatia — and in the wider Balkans region — are struggling with a surge in patients, limited beds and equipment and staff shortages, as a more than 1,000 doctors have themselves become infected.

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