On Friday, July 10, Serbian authorities introduced new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures due to the recent spike in cases in the country. Under the new guidelines, the wearing of face masks is compulsory on public transport, individuals are not permitted to visit others in hospitals, and visits to care homes are limited to 15 minutes. Additionally, the recommended social distancing between people outdoors has increased from 1 to 1.5 meters and indoor establishments including shops, offices, and restaurants are required to provide at least 3 square meters per person.
In Belgrade, public gatherings of more than 10 people indoors and outdoors are banned, while establishments with outdoor seating will only be allowed to operate from 06:00 - 23:00 (local time), and indoor establishments will be allowed to operate from 06:00 - 21:00. Indoor establishments in Belgrade must provide 4 square meters per person and penalties remain in place for individuals not complying with the new restrictions.
Following recent protests in the Belgrade, the proposed weekend COVID-19 lockdown From July 10 to Sunday, July 12 has been canceled. During the protests, at least one person was killed and more than 25 were reportedly injured following clashes between protesters and security forces.
As of July 11, health authorities have confirmed 17,728 cases of COVID-19 in Serbia, with 370 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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) labelled the outbreak as pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored 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.
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 virus.
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