In the previous year, we learned nothing if we take into account the the number of COVID-related cases and the restrictive measures that will be imposed once again…. The situation is showing that all measures will be in vain, as we don’t understand that we should not join the crowds, not frequent the shopping malls, that we should avoid the buses, not gather in large number in the apartment and the houses, says Dr. Aleksandar Stojanov, epidemiologist and former Director of the Public Health Center Skopje, in North Macedonia.
According to him, by autumn, 50 % of the population should be vaccinated if we want better chances with the COVID-situation in the North Macedonia.
“People’s behavior throughout the whole year is the same – they don’t want to isolate themselves, they want to be comfortable and free. A smart person is learning from the mistakes of others, the stupid one learns from his/her mistakes, but in this case, we aren’t learning from our own mistakes. In all our families or in our surroundings we have cases either of people infected or death cases, and we are behaving in the wrong manner. This will prolong indefinitely… A year has passed, and we are hearing the same talk about avoiding gatherings and lockdown. Each measure that is in favor of avoiding gatherings is good, but it is not enough. This disease has caused a major economic crisis in the health sector and the catering industry. The people that are lying in hospitals have to be treated and it takes money. In order for vaccines to be purchased, the subjects also have to work in order for the state budget to receive revenue inflow. We cannot function with loans all the time. We are playing all the time with the idea which is more important, the health or the economy and the one cannot be excluded from the other,” considers Dr. Stojanov.
Stojanov considers the curfew which is going to be applied starting from this evening from 10 pm until 5 am is not enough. He considers that more measures are necessary.
“It is necessary for everything to be shut down and to reduced everything to basic needs. Only food stores, drugstores, and gas stations should be allowed to work. The biggest problem for me is the lack of vaccines. Until the population starts with inoculation, a time will pass. If the vaccines arrive in April or May, they should arrive in satisfying quantities. So far, 120.000 persons reported for inoculation and that is a just a tiny fraction of the 1.6 million people. A minimum of 50% is necessary so that the inoculation may have an effect on a national level. If we can finish the inoculation by autumn, then we shall be able to have a more positive outlook on the situation. The goal is to inoculate more people in a short period of time and that is a rule in any kind of epidemic since in that case, the virus will not have the time to mutate and it will not survive,” explained Stojanov.