Those who left the capital to spend the extended weekend in some of the tourist destinations will not be tested if they show no symptoms, Venko Filipce said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference, the Health Minister said lockdown is not a discriminatory measure, adding that all measures have been made based on risk evaluations from the epidemiological interviews.
Asked whether it was the right move to put Skopje into an 80-hour lockdown given the fact that most of its residents had left to spend the weekend in towns where curfews starting at 4 pm were introduced, Filipce stressed that the citizens must wear masks, maintain distance and not form groups ‘wherever they go.’
According to the Minister, initial results from the testings of families after the May 24-25 national holiday, and the preceding period, is that there is a certain percent of asymptomatic carriers.
As a result, we tested all primary contacts of the people infected with COVID-19, who are part of some 15 families in Skopje. 90 per cent are asymptomatic, the rest have mild symptoms. Many of them told epidemiologists that they moved all around the city. We simply had to impose this restriction in order to protect the whole capital, Filipce said.
Probably, he added, there won’t be any restrictions as of Monday, but we’ll monitor the situation and all COVID-19 positive cases will be already put in isolation.
The Minister once again urged the citizens to adhere to the protective measures. “We have to learn to live with this. There will be nice weather in the weekends to come and people will most probably travel to other places. In fact, we are planning to propose the reopening of hotels as part of the next phase of the easing of measures,” Filipce said.
Tens of thousands of residents are estimated to have left Skopje on Thursday before the 80-hour lockdown entered into force at 9 pm. The lakeside town of Ohrid on Friday is packed with local tourists, mainly from the capital.