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COVID-19 Filipche: Clinics prepared to admit patients, doctors have been mobilized

Internal clinics are fully prepared to admit new patients, Health Minister Venko Filipce told a press conference on Saturday.

He stressed that doctors have been mobilized at clinics to treat COVID-19 patients.

Regarding treatment of patients at ‘8 September’ hospital, the Minister pointed out that they are always put on ventilators by anaesthesiologist and experts who have performed the procedure before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pressure, however, he added, is now higher because mechanical breathing support is required when the disease takes on its most severe form.

Not all doctors, however, Filipche noted, are working closely with coronavirus patients. Medical specialists, for example, have continued with their day-to-day activities.

The Minister underlined expectations that 2-3 additional modular hospitals will be set up by the end of 2020. However, he said, the opposition has been blocking efforts to construct 16 COVID center near existing hospitals.

“Nonetheless, we have activated our backup plan, which includes additional internal clinics and ‘8 September’ hospital capacites,” Filiphe told reporters, expressing hopes that restrictive measures will show results and decrease the number of hospitalizations.

The quantity of coronavirus tests, he stressed, has recently significantly grown, with the procurement of rapid tests. 13,000 of these have already arrived in North Macedonia and more will be ordered via the World Bank.

Regarding test results, he guaranteed the quality of labs licenced to perform COVID-19 tests.

Moreover, the Minister discussed at the press conference antibody testing, saying that antibodies are detected only in some former coronavirus patients. Presence of antibodies is not a guarantee that people won’t catch the virus again.

“Science is yet to come up with a definitive explanation,” Filipche noted.

He urged that chronically ill people should work from home if possible.

“Medical specialists can issue recommendations for their patients suffering from chronic diseases to stay home,” the Health Minister concluded.

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