Serbia asked to introduce lockdown to halt COVID spread

Medical workers wearing protective suits and people suspected to have coronavirus disease (COVID-19) stand in front of the Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases of the Clinical Center of Serbia in Belgrade, Serbia

Serbia’s epidemiologists have called for the government to introduce a state of emergency and a strict lockdown to halt a surge in coronavirus infections in the Balkan country.

The numbers of daily new cases have been rising sharply in the nation of 7 million despite a mass inoculation campaign that has reached 1 million people already.

Cchief epidemiologist Predrag Kon on Tuesday told the state RTS television that “we must ban contacts or we will break, and then realize what it means when the health system collapses.”

Health authorities say more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Serbia and the country is reporting a few thousand new cases daily. Serbia has recorded nearly 4,500 virus-related deaths.

Experts have blamed the recent surge on parties and nightclubs flouting anti-virus rules as well as on ski resorts that stayed open all winter.

Serbia has vaccinated most people with China’s Sinopharm jabs, followed by Pfizer, Russia’s Sputnik V and recently AstraZeneca.

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