A series of measures meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus are being put in place in Macedonia. One of them is an end to the popular free bus tickets given to the elderly four days a week. The idea is to discourage vulnerable citizens from using public transportation unnecessarily, where they might contract the virus which has proven especially deadly to people over 70.

Another step is to begin power washing and disinfecting garbage containers across the capital Skopje. The Skopje Zoo, which is usually packed during weekends and expected a large number of visitors now that the schools are closed, will not receive any visitors for at least the next two weeks. The Skopje Centar parking company will only accept electronic payments to protect its employees.

Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce today said that 20 people are being tested and few of them have flu like symptoms. Some include people who went to Italy, others are linked to the couple that is diagnosed with the virus in Debar. Six patients have the coronavirus, while the seventh, the 50 year old woman who was first diagnosed, is testing negative and will be discharged soon.

Filipce also said that he will propose to the Government to call on all employees in the healthcare system to cancel any private trips they are planning abroad. This comes after the major embarrassment when Filipce’s hand-picked director of the Skopje Dermatology Clinic Nina Caca Biljanovska, contracted the virus during a ski trip to Italy. Her refusal to self-quarantine after her return led to the closure of the clinic, and hundreds of doctors and patients who she was in contact with, including during a lecture she gave, are now anxiously checking for symptoms.