COVID-19 in the Balkans

SC 18:58:31 22-10-2021
LG1856.106
106 BALKAN BRIEF

COVID-19
in the
Balkans


Sofia, October 22 (BTA) - As the numbers of new COVID-19 infections and deaths continued to rise quickly in some Balkan countries, a number of them resorted to more and more restrictive measures.

Romania

With new infections surging, pupils will go on a two-week vacation as of Monday, President Klaus Iohannis said, emerging from a meeting with government officials focused on the measures against the spread of COVID-19. He emphasized that vaccination is the only way to stop the pandemic and insisted that additional restrictions are necessary.

Vaccine scepticism in Romania remains high, Reuters reported. A total of 5.7 million, or some 29 per cent of the population, were fully vaccinated by October 19.

The country faces a shortage of ICU beds. According to figures released by the government, the daily death toll hit a record 574 on October 18.

Slovenia

Both protests and restrictions continued, the former above all against mandatory COVID-19 certificates. Prime Minister Janez Jansa blamed the protesters for the rise in coronavirus infections. The new cases in Slovenia have almost doubled from the previous week. By October 19, the 2 million-strong country had vaccinated 1.1 million, or 52 per cent of its population.

Serbia
The country decided to introduce Green Certificates, effective 10:00 p.m. on October 23, as entitling holders to enter the indoor areas of food service establishments.

Municipal police and all inspectorates will check strictly not only the Green Certificates but also compliance with all existing measures at retail outlets, shopping malls and similar establishments, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic warned.

To enter Serbia, foreigners will need a digital EU certificate or a certificate from a country with which Serbia has signed a certificate recognition agreement. The certificate may be produced in paper form or in digital format downloaded on a smartphone. In may prove either full vaccination, a 72-hour-old negative PCR test, a 48-hour-old negative antigen test, or recovery from the infection within seven months of the issue date.

In Serbia, 2.9 million or 43 per cent of the country's population are fully vaccinated.

Turkey

Week on week, the number of infections has increased in 46 provinces, including Istanbul. Intense vaccination rollout also continues, and 76.86 per cent of the residents are vaccinated with two doses.

Trials on volunteers have started with a booster dose of the locally developed Turkovac vaccine.

Greece

On a weekly basis, the number of infections has increased in eight of the country's 13 administrative regions.

The vaccination rollout has prevented some 8,400 fatalities from COVID-19 and 5,560 ICU hospitalizations, according to an analysis presented by Professor Sotiris Tsiodras, a pathologist and infectious disease specialist who is on the expert commission with the Ministry of Health.

Some 6.3 million Greeks, or nearly 60 per cent of the countryТs population, are fully vaccinated.

Republic of Cyprus

With a COVID-19 lethality rate of around 0.46 per cent of those infected, the country ranks among the top achievers in managing the crisis in Europe.

According to the Ministry of Health Website, 566,500 persons, or 46.9 per cent of the country's population, have been fully vaccinated by October 19.

The pandemic-control measures in Cyprus cost a total of 100 million euro, State Health Services Organisation of Cyprus (OKYPY) CEO Christis Loizides told a news conference.

Albania

Thursday saw 566 new infections, after the number peaked at 1,079 on September 8. The death toll is declining, too. To date, over 860,000 people, or 30.3 per cent of the country's population, are fully vaccinated.

Croatia

The number of COVID-19 infections is rising, with 3,162 new cases reported on October 20, the largest number since April 8.

By October 19, 1.76 million people, or 43.4 per cent of the country's population, were fully vaccinated.

The National Civil Defence Staff decided to extend until October 31 the measures limiting the size of gatherings, requiring mask wearing, regulating visits to retail outlets and use of public transport, and imposing restrictions on border crossing.

Republic of North Macedonia

The country reported 490 new infections and 14 fatalities on Thursday. Nearly 765,000 Macedonians, or 36.7 per cent of the country's population, were fully vaccinated by October 20.

Montenegro

More than 233,000 Montenegrins, or 37.8 per cent of the country's population, were fully vaccinated by October 20. RY/BR/LG
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