Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce insisted that the Government is not planning to introduce additional restrictions on movement and other coronavirus linked measures. Filipce was asked about the projection by a US university that, if restrictions are not re-introduced, Macedonia can lose upto 1,800 people by November. So far, the epidemic claimed over 400 lives.

Even if the number of patients increases several fold, we are prepared to deal with not just Covid-19 but with the seasonal flu, smallpox and stomach viruses. We are one of the few countries that have organized businesses to operate under clear epidemiological principles, such as the wearing of masks and keeping distance. The newly diagnosed cases arise from violations of these standards. We can’t live locked down and restricted forever. The epidemic won’t go away next year, not until much of the population is vaccinated, Filipce said.

Macedonia has had the worst infection and mortality rates in the region since early June, when the Second Wave caused largely by the practice of holding large iftar dinners during the Muslim month of Ramadan began. Despite the horrible outcome, the Government insisted on having early elections in mid July, the effects of which will yet be known. Most restrictions, such as the evening curfew and the order to close many of the non-essential businesses, were lifted in early June.