Leading health professionals plead with citizens to adhere to recommendations as the number of reported cases of coronavirus leaps to 184, while the number of deaths linked to the virus has also risen to five.
The National Institute of Public Health has announced that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kosovo has risen to 184, after 19 samples tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
The Institute stated that the 19 new cases are all individuals that have been in contact with those previously confirmed to be carrying the virus.
Eight of the newly confirmed cases involved residents of the village of Smrekonice near Vushtrri, three are residents of Prishtina, while another three are residents of villages in the Municipality of Malisheva, the region most affected by the virus. There were also confirmed cases in the municipalities of Ferizaj, Klina, Gjakova, Gjilan and Kamenica.
According to a statement by the University Hospital and Clinical Service of Kosovo, 49 people that have tested positive for the virus are currently hospitalised at the Infectious Disease Clinic in Prishtina. Of this number, 40 are said to be in a stable condition, while three patients are in the intensive care unit, with two requiring a respirator.
Three patients that were treated at the emergency clinic at the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. One, a 65-year-old man from Ferizaj, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest and was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus as part of post-mortem analysis.
On Tuesday evening, another patient that tested positive died at the Infectious Disease Clinic, bringing the total of recorded deaths to five. BIRN understands that the patient was a 56-year-old man, while the National Institute for Public Health stated that the patient suffered from hypertension and diabetes, among other health conditions.
A number of employees in Kosovo’s public institutions have also been confirmed as carrying the virus in recent days.
According to the University Hospital and Clinical Service of Kosovo, five nurses have tested positive for the virus, while spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Faik Hoti confirmed that an official from the ministry was also among those testing positive.
“Luckily he did not have contact with his family,” Hoti said for RTK. “58 representatives of different departments at the Ministry of Health who had contact with the person were tested and all received negative results. This is because they used preventive equipment.”
The Kosovo Correctional Service also revealed on Tuesday that five correctional officers and one health worker tested positive for coronavirus on March 31, and have been quarantined. However, the virus is not confirmed to have spread to any prisoners in the Kosovo prison system.
The National Institute of Public Health also stated that six people tested on Tuesday have officially recovered from the virus, bringing the total in Kosovo to 30.
New measures introduced as cases rise
There has been a large increase in confirmed cases of the virus in recent days, with the number rising from 145 to 184 since Monday April 6.
Speaking to TV Dukagjini’s ‘Debat Plus’ programme, epidemiologist Valbon Krasniqi stated that citizens were not adhering to measures to prevent the spread of the virus strictly enough. Krasniqi added that there were no more imported cases of coronavirus and that “every case after March 20 is due to our negligence.”
Head of the National Institute for Public Health, Naser Ramadani, has also appealed to citizens to respect the recommendations, otherwise the situation would become more serious. “We are not in a dream but in reality,” he told RTV Dukagjini. “If we do not implement the recommendations, we will be finished.”
Kosovo Police stated on Tuesday that more than 66 people in Prishtina, including one police officer, have been arrested for violating rules restricting freedom of movement between 17:00 to 06:00, a government decision expected to be in force until April 13.
The National Institute of Public Health also encouraged citizens not to go out in crowds outside of the restricted times, particularly in Prishtina. “Crowds of people all over the country are endangering themselves and everyone!,” the Institute stated through a Facebook post. “Please be careful, you may cause an epidemic in the capital.”
The Municipality of Prishtina brought three new measures to prevent the spread of the virus into force on Tuesday – a requirement for masks and gloves if visiting the offices of the municipality, banning entrance to the city’s squares and an obligation for supermarkets to disinfect shopping trolleys. The municipality is also continuing to disinfect public spaces as a further precaution.
08 April 2020 - 11:28
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