Clinic of Infectious Disease at the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo. Photo: Fatrion Ibrahimi/BIRN.

Patient suffering from coronavirus dies

An 82-year-old patient from Podujevo that tested positive for coronavirus has died at the Infectious Disease Clinic in Prishtina after being admitted to hospital on 16 March.

The National Institute of Public Health has reported that an 82-year-old patient who tested positive for coronavirus has died at the Infectious Disease Clinic in Prishtina. The patient, who was from the village of Dumnica near Podujevo, was admitted to the Clinic on March 16, and also suffered from chronic cardiac and lung disease, the Institute reported. 

The patient is the first person to die having tested positive for coronavirus in Kosovo since the first cases were confirmed on March 13.

Following news of the patient’s death, Minister of Health Arben Vitia wrote in a Facebook post that he has proposed new measures to the Kosovo Government to help combat the spread of the virus. According to Vitia, the new measures include restricting the movement of vehicles and citizens around Kosovo during specified times.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rose to 31 on Saturday after seven people tested positive for the virus, with 567 people in total now having been tested. 

Two of the confirmed cases involved two residents of Gjilan, a 20-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman. The two residents are the first to test positive for coronavirus in the municipality, and the news prompted an urgent meeting of local officials. 

Deputy Mayor Arber Ismajli told BIRN in the early hours of Sunday morning that the municipality is likely to be isolated following the news.

The other cases announced on Saturday involve a 32-year-old from the village of Bibaj in the Municipality of Ferizaj who recently entered the country from Germany, as well as two women in Prishtina, one 29 and one 50, a 31-year-old man from Malisheva and a 40-year-old woman from Gjakova.

In a press conference earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, appearing alongside Vitia, warned citizens to stay at home and maintain hygiene and social distancing over what he described as the crucial next two weeks. 

The Minister of Health also announced that 50 more ventilators have been ordered, in addition to the 95 currently available in Kosovo’s public hospitals and 47 in its private hospitals. “In order to strengthen our capacity, we have ordered the purchase of 50 new ventilators and are anticipating ordering another contingent in May,” said Vitia.

The Prime Minister announced through a video message on social media on Saturday night that more than 24,000 families receiving social assistance will be given a double payment of their regular monthly amount to cope with the coronavirus crisis. 

The European Union Office in Kosovo has also stated that it is working to allocate Kosovo five million euros to aid in combating the coronavirus pandemic.

“The EU has always been with the people of Kosovo, in good times and in crises,” the EU Office in Kosovo stated. “We are working with international organisations in Kosovo to allocate up to five million euros to fight COVID-19.” 

22/03/2020 - 12:43

22 March 2020 - 12:43

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.