Skopje Mayor Petre Silegov threatened to close the Cair gynecology clinic, one of the largest in the country, if it doesn’t fix the problem with its heating system, which has been emitting acrid black smoke over the past days.

Inspectors from the city of Skopje were at the clinic twice already and are going to issue a final warning to them, but also to the Healthcare Ministry, which must replace the heating system immediately. If they fail to do so, the clinic will be closed. We want to avoid a crisis, but we can’t allow them to ignore their obligations. It was already determined twice that the heating system is polluting. This is a hospital where babies are being born, said Silegov.

The clinic was also tasked to prepare an analysis of its heating system by a certified laboratory and to disclose it to the public. Skopje and other cities across Macedonia are in crisis mode over wintertime air pollution levels, and the capital is regularly features in lists of most polluted cities across the world.