NMacedonia Health Minister: COVID-19 numbers rising, vaccination statistics in downfall


We have been witnessing an increase of the new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. The percentage of the new cases last week rose by 25% in comparison with the week before. The R0, the contagiousness factor, is also increasing, which is an indicator that there will be a shift from the stable epidemiological situation that we had had for a long period of time, said Venko Filipche, North Macedonia’s Minister of Health, in today’s press conference.

He cautioned the citizens to be careful and conscientious, as the number of new cases is on the rise.

“This rise is expected, taking into account what is happening in the countries in the region. The hospitals in the region are experiencing a strong blow. Yesterday in Bulgaria there were almost 5,000 new cases and in Greece there were 8,600 new cases. The numbers of the new cases and of the deceased are also on the rise in Serbia and in Croatia. In our country the number of hospitalized patients last week rose by 15%. At the moment there are 518 patients in the hospitals. It is good that there is no enormous pressure, in terms of large number of examinations and a surge of the number of patients. If a comparison is made with the previous waves, the number of hospitalized patients in now lower,” Filipche said.

He informs that no later than the start of next week, the procedure for the virus’ sequencing will be over and this will show which variant is now dominant.

“Regarding the vaccines, so far over 1.6 million doses were administered. 46,000 people received the third dose, and 5,000 children up to 18 were vaccinated. Unfortunately, regarding the vaccination, we are seeing a downfall of the numbers. The people must be aware that this is the only mean of protection. We have enough vaccines,” Filipche said.

In North Macedonia, there are 1,068 active COVID cases of children up to 18 years of age . In the hospital in Kozle there are 23 children and no one is in a critical condition.

He informed that he talked with a representative of the Merck company about the new anti-viral medicine. Apart from this company, Pfizer is also developing a similar curen.

Regarding the European COVID certificate that is completely recognized in the EU member countries, Filipche said that he will explain the procedures of its download on Friday, its use, how to scan the code both for the iPhone and the Android systems.

The minister pleaded to the citizens to be aware and conscientious, and the unvaccinated to report for vaccination.

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