Republika spoke to a number of citizens today who say that they can’t have their loved ones admitted to hospital despite clear signs of coronavirus infection.

I’m going to wait in front of the “8th of September” hospital with my mother until they admit her. She hasn’t been tested but she breaths with difficulty, shallow breathing. My son is positive. My mother already has dementia and a number of other chronic illnesses, said one woman from Skopje who was told that the best way to bypass the slow testing system is to go to the hospital and wait at the entrance.

A man from Skopje said that he had to drive his brother from hospital to hospital, while he was losing breath, and had to use connections to get a hospital bed.

The stories are typical of the situation in the country as the number of cases is spiking. Macedonia saw the number of active cases double in a matter of weeks, and the slow and insufficient public coronavirus testing system is forcing many to find themselves going through a bureaucratic maze until they can get their loved ones to a hospital.