Infectious Disease Clinic. Photo: Urim Krasniqi/PI.

Majority of COVID-19 patients infected with British variant

The head of the Infectious Disease Clinic, Izet Sadiku, has stated that research shows most COVID-19 patients in Kosovo have been infected with the British variant of the novel coronavirus, which is spreading faster and leading to more severe symptoms.

Izet Sadiku, the acting director of the Infectious Disease Clinic in Prishtina, stated on Wednesday that the majority of COVID-19 patients in Kosovo have been infected with the so-called British variant of the novel coronavirus.

Sadiku told Telegrafi that the new variant of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, discovered in the United Kingdom in November last year and first recorded in Kosovo on January 29, was spreading faster, and having a greater impact on young people. 

“Even here we are proving what has been proven elsewhere in the world that it spreads faster,” Sadiku said. The head of the clinic added that it was now common for entire families to become infected, which he said was not the case during previous spikes in coronavirus cases in 2020.

“We have many cases today when a family member says ‘we are all positive’ and this was not the situation in November, or July or August,” he said, adding that patients were also suffering more severe symptoms.

The Infectious Disease Clinic at the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo, UCCK, is currently full to capacity, housing 110 patients, 90 percent of whom are receiving oxygen therapy, according to Sadiku. The head of the clinic added that there is no shortage of supplies in terms of treatment for patients, other than a lack of Remdesivir, an antiviral medication.

According to Kosovo’s health service, there are currently 734 patients being treated in the country’s public hospitals, 611 of whom are confirmed as positive for coronavirus. At UCCK, there are 244 patients confirmed as infected, while in Kosovo’s seven regional hospitals, 367 patients have tested positive for the coronavirus, with the majority at the Hospitals of Peja (96), Gjilan (81) and Gjakova (77).

Despite the large numbers of hospitalised patients, the numbers are decreasing. Two weeks ago, on April 7, there were 757 patients across the public health system confirmed as positive for the coronavirus. 

On Sunday, the Kosovo Government eased measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reopening shopping centres, bars and restaurants after an 11-day shutdown.

“The public must understand that the Infectious Disease Clinic is the last clinic that will be free of patients,” Sadiku said. “We have three other UCCK clinics dealing with COVID and they all have patients, but the number of patients has started to fall.”

21/04/2021 - 16:32

21 April 2021 - 16:32

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