BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Serbian health experts on Tuesday urged the government to declare a state of emergency to crack down on what they say is a wave of coronavirus infections that they say threaten the Balkan country’s healthcare system.
The number of new infections is growing rapidly every day in a country of 7 million people, despite the mass vaccination campaign, which has so far given almost 1 million people the first vaccine. This rate of vaccination has made Serbia, a non-EU country, one of the best in Europe when it comes to delivering vaccines to its citizens.
Still, the state of emergency is unlikely to be supported by the Conservative government, which hopes that its plan to try to get vaccines from the West, China and Russia will pull Serbia out of the destructive economic and social context of the epidemic.
Predrag Cohn, chief epidemiologist for the government-appointed coronavirus crisis team, told state-run RTS television on Tuesday that there was “no alternative” to ordering the blockade.
“We have to ban communication, otherwise we will be broken. “And then we will understand what it means when the healthcare system collapses,” he said.
“Exhaustion is beyond all bounds,” Conn said of the country’s health workers. “It can no longer be tolerated!”
Health officials say 4,000 COVID-19 patients continue to be hospitalized in Serbia, with new infections reaching 3,500 a day and 2,000 a day just a few weeks ago. Serbia has registered almost 4,500 virus-related deaths.
Experts have accused the last wave of infections of violating anti-virus rules by private parties at nightclubs, as well as in the open winter of ski resorts.
However, the nation’s top officials oppose the blockade, warning that it could hurt Serbia’s economy.
“I do not believe we are close to establishing a state of emergency,” said President Alexander Vuումiիչը in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.
Vuիչըiիչը said that Serbia expects to receive additional vaccines in the coming weeks, and expressed hope that further vaccinations will help reduce the tide.
“We need to be more disciplined, we have all behaved irresponsibly,” Vucic said. “But people are full. They have to work, our economies have to work. ”
At the beginning of last year’s outbreak, Serbia imposed a curfew, but in recent months has eased anti-virus rules. However, cafes and restaurants must be closed by 8pm, gatherings are limited, and masks are required indoors.
Analysts say Serbia’s relative success on the mass vaccination front could push people to reduce their protection against viruses.
Serbia has vaccinated most people with Chinese Sinopharm piercings, followed by Pfizer, Russian Sputnik V and most recently the AstraZeneca.
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