Skopje, 29 May 2020 (MIA) – Two days after North Macedonia lifted the nationwide coronavirus curfew, cafes and restaurants began to reopen under strict protocol and many people got back to work. Wearing a face masks and keeping physical distance is mandatory.
Authorities urge people to comply with recommendations for protection against COVID-19 despite relaxed measures, in order to avoid reintroduction of restrictions.
North Macedonia reported 38 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while active COVID-19 cases stand at 470 at the moment.
Health Minister Venko Filipche said we were facing two challenges – to become accustomed to unconditionally respect protective measures that are a prerequisite for normalizing the situation or to disrespect the measures and risk reintroduction of more restrictive measures.
“Life begins to return to normal and businesses start to open, free movement restores and the borders will reopen soon. We are opening up as all the countries in the world do,” Filipche said.
He noted that analyses of the epidemiologists confirmed that the situation is stable, and the current strategy has yielded results.
“We protected the healthcare system and kept the epidemic under control. This was a prerequisite for easing restrictive measures. However, personal protective measures remain in place and should be fully respected. Wearing face mask or covering of the mouth and nose, maintaining physical distance, hand washing and use of hand sanitizers are preventive measures that remain part of our daily lives. We will continue with these protective measures,” Filipche said.
At the moment, most of the active coronavirus cases are in Skopje – 232, followed by Kumanovo – 36, Shtip -19, Prilep – 43, Tetovo – 71, Struga – 9, Veles – 31, Bitola – 7, Ohrid – 8, Gostivar – 4, Strumica – 1, Negotino – 5, Vinica – 1, Kratovo – 1 and Sveti Nikole – 1.
Of the new 24 COVID-19 cases registered in Skopje on Thursday, Saraj has 7, Butel – 4, Chair – 3, Aerodrom – 3, Studenichani – 2, Shuto Orizari – 2, Gazi Baba – 1 and Karposh – 1.
A total of 27,023 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the country so far. The total number of coronavirus patients since the onset of the epidemic is 2,077. Of these 1,486 people have recovered and 121 passed away.
The Ministry of Health says the COVID-19 death rate in North Macedonia is far below the European and world average.
“The death rate of the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Macedonia is 5.8 percent. Countries in the region with higher death rate include Slovenia – 7.3 percent, Bosnia and Herzegovina – 6.2 percent, Greece – 6.0 percent,” the Health Ministry added.