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500,000 face masks and 20,000 tests to arrive next week: minister

A donation consisting of 500,000 masks and 20,000 coronavirus tests should arrive next week, Health Minister Venko Filipche said Thursday.

Skopje, 26 March 2020 (MIA) – A donation consisting of 500,000 masks and 20,000 coronavirus tests should arrive next week, Health Minister Venko Filipche said Thursday.

“Also, we received response from several donors, through the Norwegian government, for ventilators and they are expected to arrive in early April. We are waiting for a definite response from the Chinese embassy in the coming days after making a request for a donation several weeks ago, Filipche told a regular news conference.

Citing the Health Ministry’s press release, he confirmed that 24 new patients tested positive for the coronavirus over the past 24 hours.

It brings the total number of cases until 12 pm on Thursday to 201.

Of those, 15 new cases were registered in Skopje, four in Kumanovo, two in Debar, and one in Ohrid, Shtip, and Tetovo each. Thus far, COVID-19 cases have been registered in Skopje (123), Debar (43), Kumanovo (15), Shtip (8), Veles (3), Ohrid (3), Kavadarci (2), Prilep (2), Gostivar (1), and Tetovo (1).

Three patients died since the first coronavirus case was reported on Feb. 26.

A patient from Debar, Filipche said, today was discharged from the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and sent home for further treatment, because he is in stable condition. A woman from Skopje will be also discharged and will continue to be treated at home.

So far, three patients have made full recovery.

“Of the new cases, we have a patient from Tetovo who had been treated on March 9-23 at the rehabilitation center in Skopje. Upon returning to Tetovo, the patient started having fevers after which he was transported to the clinic in Skopje. Today, a team of epidemiologists worked hard to test 14 health workers and four patients that might have had contact with the patient,” said the Minister.

Filipche reiterated the government’s ban on all movements this coming weekend from 4 pm to 5 am. “This is a measure that is producing results, alongside social distancing, that has proven to be highly effective in tackling the spread of the coronavirus,” he noted.

Furthermore, mobile testing will launch next week. “In the coming days, wider groups will be selected for testing in areas and towns where the epidemiologists think that it is necessary to be applied,” Minister Filipche said.

 

 

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