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North Macedonia declares state of emergency over coronavirus

President Stevo Pendarovski declared Wednesday a nationwide state of emergency in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Skopje, 18 March 2020 (MIA) – President Stevo Pendarovski declared Wednesday a nationwide state of emergency in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The state of emergency is to last 30 days, Pendarovski said.

During this period, the Government is to report to the President on the effects of the measures taken to protect people against coronavirus, and send daily briefs on the activities taken, as well as future action.

According to Pendarovski, the Government will go on as a caretaker one, but starting Wednesday its powers will increase. It will have all resources at its disposal, he added, both public and private, to counter the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The fact that for the first time since the country’s independence we’re declaring a state of emergency shows the actual complexity of the situation,” Pendarovski pointed out.

He urged citizens once again to stay home and refrain from travel.

Earlier, the Government proposed declaring a nationwide state of emergency.

“This situation requires a state of emergency. The Government has no dilemmas about this and we took a decision on declaring a nationwide state of emergency at today’s session. The measures have given the expected results but we need to step them up in order to prevent a sharper peak. We are convinced this can be done only by declaring a state of emergency,” caretaker PM Spasovski said.

He noted that in case the Parliament is dissolved, the Constitution provides for the President to declare a state of emergency for a period of 30 days.

The PM said this is the first time on record that such a measure is declared in the country and one of the toughest decisions taken by any government.

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