European Western Balkans

North Macedonia once again taking lockdown measures due to COVID-19


SKOPJE – Government of North Macedonia has ordered a full 80-hour lockdown of the capital Skopje, and the towns of Tetovo, Kumanovo and Štip, after another worrying peak in infections over the past few days, Balkan Insight reported.

On Wednesday, North Macedonia registered a new peak of 101 infections, which was close to the previous peak of 107 infections recorded on 16 April, which many thought would not be repeated.

The same lockdown measured will apply to few rural municipalities. In the rest of the country, the government has reintroduced previously scrapped evening curfews, which start at 9 pm and end in the early morning.

According to The Public Health Institute on Thursday, the number of new cases in the past 24 hours had already reached 110, with the possibility of a further rise during the day as more test results become available.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 2,492 people have been infected of whom 1604 have since recovered. The country has marked 145 deaths and has 742 active cases.

According to Balkan Insight, following criticism that government early scrapped measures and reopened restaurants in late May, turned a blind eye to mass gatherings during the recent previous holidays of Orthodox Easter and Ramadan, Health Minister Venko Filipče avoided taking direct responsibility.

Filipče accused the Interior Ministry of not property policing respect for safety measures on the ground, but also he blamed citizens for loosening discipline.

After the provisional government in which the Social Democrats, SDSM, have the main say, passed the decision, the main opposition VMRO DPMNE party repeated its demand for elections to be held later rather than sooner, insisting that the country is not out of the woods when it comes to the Coronavirus and that holding elections soon could increase the risk.

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