News Alerts

16 May 2020 | 07:01 AM UTC

North Macedonia: New state of emergency and additional curfew hours announced amid COVID-19 pandemic May 15 /update 8

Republic of Macedonia News Alert

North Macedonia authorities announce a 15-day state of emergency and additional curfew hours in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 15; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Skopje). COUNTRY/REGION Macedonia

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Event

North Macedonian authorities have issued a new 15-day state of emergency on Friday, May 15, in addition to the daily nationwide curfew which is now in place between the hours of 19:00 and 05:00 (local time), in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Authorities further announced that foreigners residing in North Macedonia short-term and with or without a visa are permitted to stay for the duration of the declared state of emergency, including those whose visas have expired.

The use of face masks is compulsory in public places where a two-meter distance cannot be maintained, including indoor gatherings, such as markets, shops, banks, post offices, health institutions, and on public transportation. Curfews, border, and travel restrictions also remain in effect. A ban on all public gatherings and on the entry of foreign nationals remains in place. Additionally, all border crossings in North Macedonia are closed to foreign nationals, except for freight vehicles, diplomatic personnel, and foreigners with long-term stay permits. Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD) remain closed for all passenger flights.

As of May 15, health authorities have confirmed 1740 COVID-19 cases and 97 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease. 

 

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