BELGRADE -- Serbia will launch partial COVID-19 passes on Saturday. Meanwhile, Croatia and Slovenia reported high daily infections as a result of a virus surge in countries with low vaccination rates.
Serbia has been witness to thousands of news stories every day for weeks and has recorded more than 50 deaths per day in a country of 7 millions. About half of the adults have been fully jabbed, and thousands have received booster doses.
Authorities reported another 6,748 infections and 60 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, more than 1,000,000 infections have been confirmed in the Balkan country. Nearly 10,000 people have also died.
Experts strongly criticized the decision of the government to only allow indoor spaces to be used after 10 p.m. Experts have criticized the government's decision to allow COVID-19 passes for indoor spaces only from 10 p.m. They also said that the move was too inconvenient and needed more strict measures to stop the spread of the virus.
The government of Serbia initially resisted any restrictions, but eventually urged people to get vaccinated. In the Balkan country, face masks are mandatory indoors. However, there has been no restriction on gatherings or working in nightclubs, bars, or restaurants.
Alarmingly, the virus situation is also alarming in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where vaccination rates are lower that the European Union average. As hospitals flooded and infections rose to new heights, Romania approved tightening rules.
Slovenia announced Saturday that the number of confirmed daily cases in the country has reached a nine month high. The positive rate is about 30%. Slovenia has vaccinated 53%, or 2 million people. More than 5,000 people died from COVID-19.
Croatia is also reporting an increase in daily cases to over 3,500 per day over the last days, authorities stated. The daily number of confirmed cases rose by 1,600 since last weekend.
COVID-19 passes have been issued by the government to health and social workers but not to the general population. On Saturday, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic called for citizens to get vaccinated -- the vaccination rate in Croatia is also at about 50%.
He stated, "Vaccination is the best solution globally and we all must help those citizens still unsure to decide in favor."