Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce was promoting positions aligned with the leader of his SDSM party Zoran Zaev today, as he was insisting that the coronavirus epidemic is on the wane. Filipce insisted that the spike in newly diagnosed cases over the past days is due to several mass events where the virus spread, and that the coming period will be calmer.

Usually such epidemics last between eight and 11 weeks and we are in the 11th week. Warm weather is also weakening the virus and reduces transmission, Filipce assured the public.

His comments fit nicely with Zaev’s push for elections to be held as soon as possible, in a month from now. Political leaders said that they will revert to medical experts as they heatedly debate when to hold the next elections, and it’s expected that SDSM will try to downplay the public perception of the epidemic in the coming days. The ruling party estimates that holding low turnout elections in June, before the full extent of the economic crisis has been felt in the public, is in its best interest, while the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party wants the vote to take place only after it is safe enough for the public to vote.