Europe is again the hotspot of the infections with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The Balkan peninsula is especially affected by the new outbreak of infections. The curves of the graphics in all countries in the region move upwards, something that all health experts and epidemiologists had been announcing several months ago. The low temperatures, and therefore, longer stays in closed spaces, but also the mass gatherings, protests, and disobeying of the rules of wearing face masks and physical distancing, have contributed to the increase in the number of cases on a daily basis everywhere in our neighborhood.

Dr. Aleksandar Stojanov, an epidemiologist and Director of the Public Health Center – Skopje, stated for Meta that apart from Serbia, since there are real doubts about the situation there, in all other countries the numbers are on the rise constantly.

“In Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Slovenia, the number of COVID-cases is on the rise constantly. 20 percent of the tested in Slovenia were tested positive, which is a high percentage. They are imposing a curfew there starting from 9 pm until 6 am. Sweden is now starting to close all restaurants and bars, Belgium has already closed the pubs for the next 2 months. Paris imposed a curfew. What we are proposing wasn’t named a curfew, but all restaurants, bakeries, bars, petrol stations, and every location where people gather, will not be working in the period between 11 pm and 5 am. They won’t be working at all in order to decrese the movement of people. If that doesn’t help, the next step will be to impose a curfew,” said Dr. Stojanov.

According to him, the preventive measures must be observed if we want to see any results.

“Public transportation poses a great problem. We proposed an increase in the number of buses in order to reduce the number of passengers on a single bus, and the passengers must all be wearing masks. If that is observed, then everything will be fine. Otherwise, since the 9th of September, so far, we had only 18 positive children that attended kindergarten, but none was infected at the kindergarten. This is because the protocols at the kindergartens are being observed. Even at the schools, the number of children that are positive is very low. We have professors who were tested positive, but were infected outside the schools and because of whom whole classes are now in isolation. But mainly, the schools and the kindergartens observe the protocols,” said Stojanov.

The first curfew in North Macedonia was imposed on the 22nd of March, almost a month since the first registered case of infection in the country. On 20.10.2020, the number of infections in Macedonia is over 24.000, and out of them, 850 have died.

Even though the Government gave its proposal, there are obstacles when it comes to imposing the proposed measures, since the country is no longer in an emergency situation so the Government’s decisions have to be adopted by the Parliament. And the opposition is blocking the passing of these measures at the Parliament. Firstly, VMRO-DPMNE demanded more time to analyze these measures before the vote, and now it requests from the Health Minister Venko Filipche to form a new advisory commission for fighting the COVID-19. Minister Filipche immediately rejected this request.

However, VMRO-DPMNE announced they will be attending the scheduled parliamentary session concerning the proposed measures by the Government, but they will vote as neutral.

“We know they have no quorum, but shall be correct, and we shall form the quorum at the parliamentary session. We are going to withhold , but we shall allow this draft law to pass,” said VMRO-DPMNE’s MP Antonio Miloshoski.