DAILY BRIEF May 13, state of emergency, day 55: Mass screening of critical categories begins with PCR tests, 20 new COVID-19 cases, 24 recovered patients and 3 die, Government announces changes to Protocols on measures for prevention of spreading of the epidemic…
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News of the day – Targeted mass screening with PCR tests has started
The Ministry of Health announced today that targeted screening of certain critical categories of patients for COVID-19 has started today.
The Center for Public Health and the Institute for Public Health have made a plan for screening of people who are considered to be in a critical category. This screening will include health workers, employees in kindergartens, employees in nursing homes, patients with chronic diseases who have been put off, patients on biological therapy. The screening will be made with PCR tests, while the testing has the purpose to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus, namely, people who are infected but are not aware because they have no symptoms. This strategy will enable a better assessment of the possibility for easing the restrictive measures, but also significant increase of the number of tests.
First on the list are employees in kindergartens, in order to put them back into operation in parallel with this process, in which a protocol is being prepared for the wok of kindergartens.
“The government is preparing a detailed protocol on how the campaign of the political parties will be conducted on the ground, but also how the elections will be implemented on election day”, announced today Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski, who participated in the inspection of the construction works on the expressway Stip-Radovis.
“Mainly, keeping distance and wearing protective equipment is in all protocols, and this is very important if we want to maintain the situation as it is now, to have a tendency of a reduced number of infected, and a detailed protocol will be prepared from that aspect, how the political entities should behave during the election campaign and on election day”, stated Spasovski.
Without filter (video column): Will the voting be a health risk? Well, of course not!
In regards to the thoughts and dilemmas on whether there will be a voter turnout at the elections, in the context of the coronavirus risk, Xhabir Deralla explains in more detail in today’s video column.
State of emergency
Today the Institute for Public Health registered 24 recovered patients, as follows:
– Skopje 12
– Prilep 7
– Tetovo 3
– Kavadarci 1
– Pehcevo 1
In the past 24 hours, 309 tests have been and 20 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the following cities: Skopje-10, Prilep-5, Tetovo-4, Veles-1. So far, a total of 19.739 tests for COVID-19 have been made in the country.
In the past 24 hours, 3 COVID-19 patients have died. At the Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Skopje a 59-year-old patient from Prilep died, hospitalized on May 7. In the General Hospital in Veles a 76-year-old patient from Veles died, hospitalized on May 6, and a patient from Tetovo at the age of 68 died on the way to the Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Skopje, referred from the Clinical Hospital in Tetovo.
In the past 24 hours, 31 people across the country have disregarded the ban on movement, 19 of them have been detained, while appropriate measures will follow for the rest.
In addition, as the Ministry of Interior announced, in terms of the measure for mandatory wearing of protective equipment, that is, face masks, 17 people have violated this measure.
Based on Article 58 paragraph (1) of the Law on protection of the population against infectious diseases (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No..66/04, 139/08, 99/09, 149/14, 150/15 and 37/16), the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia at the session held on May 12, 2020, adopted a decision for amending and supplementing the decision for the measure for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The proposals for protocols refer to training of athletes in individual sports, sports betting houses and other points for payments in and payments out of organizers of games of chance in betting houses, work and work activities in centers for education, training and seminars, organization of sessions and conferences and academies for educational activities, organizing and realizing official trips of elected and appointed persons to foreign countries, the malls on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, hospitality facilities and restaurants in malls, driver education centers.
3.690 extraordinary inspections have been carried out in the period May 4 -11, as to whether the government measures and recommendations for preventing the spread of coronavirus are respected. It has been concluded that despite the ban, some hospitality entities are opening their facilities, the measures for personal protection are disregarded, and there are poor hygiene conditions in some facilities.
The Inspection Council says that the existing measures are in force until they are cancelled and that they will continue monitoring compliance to the measures.
The National Bank adopted a new package of monetary measures with which it has lowered the basic interest rate by 0.25 percent, which will now be 1.5 percent. The scope of instruments for securing denar liquidity in the banking system has also been expanded.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country will benefit from the new financing provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with the purpose of investing in commercial vehicles and equipment with higher standards, meeting the EU Directives in the area of environmental protection, health and safety at the workplace, as well as product quality and safety.
Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski testified at today’s hearing for the April 27 events.
“Trajko Veljanovski refused to accept a change to the agenda and to move on to the item for election of Parliament Speaker”, stated Spasovski.
In regards to a question from prosecutor Vilma Ruskovska as to what actions the party had taken in that period, Spasovski said that when the violence had started in the Parliament, a larger group of citizens had gathered in front of the headquarters of SDSM.
“The only thing that the President of the party and I undertook is that we did not allow for the gathered people to go towards the Parliament, so that an even bigger problem is not created”, said Spasovski.
Spasovski stressed that the parties function hierarchically, so it is impossible, at least in his party, not to know that something is being undertaken.
The trial for the organizers of the April 27 violence that took place in the Parliament will continue on May 15 this year, when witnesses Stefan Mladenovski and Vesel Memedi will be witnesses.
The government at yesterday’s session decided to allow officials to travel abroad, but after their return to the country to be in mandatory quarantine.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Radmila Sekerinska and Defence Attaché Egil Daltveit signed the Protocol for donations from the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of North Macedonia in medical supplies in the amount of 100.000 euros. These funds are an addition to the 200.000 euros that Norway has already provided through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency.
The craftsmen have submitted demands to Minister Bekteshi for overcoming the current situation. Some of the demands are special credit lines and for the minimum salary to be paid until the crisis lasts.
Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi promised that the demands of the Chamber of Crafts would be considered.
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Mila Carovska said that the testing for COVID-19 of staff in kindergartens is preparation for gradually putting these institutions into operation.
She outlined that the protective function of kindergartens is certainly not just educational, but also a service that helps parents be able to realize their work duties.