Macedonian hospitals are beginning to buckle under pressure as the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients rises in proportion with the spike in new infection. The daily infection rate is four times the highs registered during spring and summer, and the Healthcare Ministry is desperately trying to find more room in the lesser used clinics in Skopje.

The Infectious Diseases Clinic in Skopje admitted 12 new patients yesterday and currently treats 160 – 130 of which must receive supplemental oxygen. This is at the peak of its capacity, and the clinic has a field hospital set up near-by for additional room.
In the 8th of September hospital, which is the other critical Covid-19 center, there are currently 79 patients – two on mechanical ventilation. Numbers are growing in the Kozle children’s hospital, that has 10 children as well as 22 adult patients.

An old tuberculosis clinic close to the Infectious Diseases Clinic in the large Mother Teresa complex in downtown Skopje, was quickly refurbished into a Covid ward and it now has 30 patients.

Across the country, the Bitola regional center treats 70 patients – after usually treating up to 50 during spring and summer. The Stip hospital has 52 patients – which puts it at maximum capacity. General hospitals across the country usually treated about 200 patients in total, mainly less severe cases. Today they have over 420.

Besides beds, there is critical need for doctors and nurses. The Ministry said that 180 doctors who were attending specialist training are having it cut short and are being deployed to general rotation.