Microbiologist Nikola Panovski repeated his call for a curfew that would cover the worst affected parts of Skopje – municipalities such as Cair, Saraj, Gazi Baba and Butel. According to Panovski, the lifting of the evening curfew was done rashly and with political considerations in mind – the ruling SDSM party wants to hold elections as soon as possible and is trying to declare a state of normalcy even though the infection and mortality rates remain as bad as ever.

If not the entire country, at least the areas with the worst numbers should remain under curfew, Panovski said, naming the Albanian, Muslim heavy parts of the capital where the social distancing rules were ignored during the month of Ramadan and the evening iftar gatherings that go with it. “It’s a fact that the numbers are bad. There was no need to have the measures relaxed so quickly. I know they want elections and are laying the groundwork but that is not the solution if the daily toll of newly infected and deceased patients remains such as it is. If we want to be Sweden, we should’ve just kept everything open from day one”, Panovski added.

For over two months, citizens were ordered to remain in their homes every evening, starting at 19h, and at times even at 16h.