One family gathering in the Cair part of Skopje led to over 20 infections, said Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce today, as he asked the public to refrain from holding large gatherings. The Islamic month of Ramadan includes large evening dinners but the Government hasn’t moved strongly to prohibit them, especially as it attempts to portray a sense of return to normalcy and push for elections in June.

This gathering in Cair was a family event, and many participants are already showing symptoms. We also have risks in Tetovo and the surroundings of the city. We discussed this issue this morning, and tomorrow we will send additional reinforcements in infectious diseases experts, Filipce said.

Although measures banning large gathering and the mandatory wearing of masks remains in effect, the overall public compliance is going down. Meanwhile, Macedonia remains the country with the worst mortality rate in the region (over 50 deaths per million) and the number of newly infected patients remains high – with between two and three dozen reported daily.