What is the Situation with COVID-19 in the Balkans

Society » HEALTH | November 26, 2021, Friday // 11:31
Bulgaria: What is the Situation with COVID-19 in the Balkans Pixabay

Over the past week, some Balkan countries have seen some improvement in epidemiological indicators, while others have tightened restrictive measures against unvaccinated people in an attempt to avoid a worsening of the situation ahead of the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.


GREECE has introduced new restrictive measures since the beginning of this week, according to which unvaccinated people do not have access to restaurants, theaters, museums, cinemas and gyms, even with a negative test, as has been the case so far. The measures also affect children between the ages of 4 and 17, who can visit a number of closed rooms in the presence of an adult and present a negative home test taken in the last 24 hours. Access to pharmacies and public transport remains free. In the grocery stores a pass regime is provided in accordance with the square footage of the retail outlets. A floating start of the working day in the private and public sectors is also introduced in order to avoid congestion in public transport. There is also a change in the number of visits to church temples, where a negative test is already required.

At the same time, there is a serious interest in the vaccination campaign. More than 70,000 vaccinations are given every day. Since the last month, 444 thousand people have booked an appointment for the first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19. The interest in the third dose is even greater - more than 1.2 million people have asked for it, said the Minister of Digital Administration Kyriakos Pierakakis. About 61 percent of the country's population is fully vaccinated.

The number of newly infected in the country remains high. In the last 24 hours, 6565 new cases of coronavirus infection were registered and 78 people died. There are 621 patients on respirators. In the last two weeks, the number of patients in the country's intensive care units has increased by 25 percent, local media reported.

Doctors warn that hospitals in northern Greece are overcrowded. The country's private hospitals have declared readiness to co-operate in emergency operations as public health facilities are overcrowded with patients with COVID-19. Due to the expansion of the pandemic, the planned operations have been postponed, but the Ministry of Health emphasizes that emergencies will be taken over. A decree was issued last week to mobilize private doctors practicing in northern Greece to help their colleagues at state hospitals.


Authorities in TURKEY do not plan to impose a new lockdown, assured Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who stressed the importance of vaccination. About 120 million doses of the vaccine have been given in the country, with 50.2 million people or 59.5 percent of the population fully vaccinated and a third booster dose given to more than 13 million people.

At the same time, the Minister of Health announced that the inactive vaccine developed in Turkey against COVID-19 "Turkovak" has applied for urgent approval by the Turkish Medicines Agency and its implementation is expected to start by the end of this year. The vaccines of Sinovac, Sputnik V and Pfizer are currently being administered in the country.

Fahrettin Koca also announced that the Turkish health authorities plan to introduce a new treatment against COVID-19, and it is planned to add another drug to the medical catalog and start its production in Turkey.

Turkey registered 27,592 new cases of coronavirus infection and 175 deaths on Wednesday. About 8.65 million people have been infected and 75,618 have died since the pandemic began.


ROMANIA reports an improvement in the epidemiological situation, with more and more counties moving to a "green scenario" with a 14-day morbidity rate below 2 per 1,000 inhabitants. The capital, Bucharest, moved from a "red" to a "yellow scenario" this week, with the incidence falling to 2.67 cases per 1,000 inhabitants yesterday. In the "red scenario" with a morbidity of more than 3 per 1000 inhabitants, nine counties remain.

The number of newly infected people in the past 24 hours is 2104. The authorities also reported 212 deaths, of which 35 from the previous period. There are 1341 patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units.

However, health experts have warned that the authorities should not rush to loosen the measures, as the Delta Plus variant is already spreading in the country. The strain was identified in 20 percent of sequenced samples last week and is thought to be the cause of a fifth wave of the pandemic, according to epidemiologist Octavian Jurma.

Since the start of the vaccination campaign, 14.65 million doses of vaccine have been delivered in the country, and more than 7.3 million Romanians have completed a vaccination schedule. More than 1.44 million people have also received a booster dose.


The Institute of Public Health of the REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA announced in its weekly report on the epidemiological situation that the number of newly infected with COVID-19 has decreased by 8.9 percent compared to the previous week.

From 15 to 21 November, 2929 people fell ill with COVID-19, which is 288 less than in the period between 8 and 14 November. The percentage of positives ranges from 11.6 to 16.9 percent, and the average is 14.8 percent.

91 deaths were registered, most in the age group over 60 years. 2855 people were healed.

In the last 24 hours, 442 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in the Republic of North Macedonia, 373 patients recovered and five died, all in hospital, of which the youngest was 57 years old and the oldest was 84 years old.

So far, 7474 people have died from COVID-19 in the country. The number of active cases currently in North Macedonia is 8339. The most active cases are in Skopje - 3832, and the least in Dojran - only two.

1.68 million doses of vaccine have been given in the country. 790,000 people have been fully vaccinated, ie 37.9 percent of the population,


The epidemiological picture is also improving in SERBIA, where the number of new infections is declining on a daily basis, but there are still many deaths from the effects of the infection.

According to the latest data, 2,631 new infected people have been confirmed in Serbia out of the 16,737 tested. 50 people have died as a result of the infection. Reduces the number of outpatient examinations and patients treated in covid hospitals, but also the number of citizens waiting in front of covid outpatient clinics.

There are currently queues in front of vaccination, first and booster stations in Serbia.

Health Ministry Secretary of State Mirsad Jerlek said 5,400 people were treated in covid hospitals, more than 200 were on respirators and between 50 and 60 died a day. Characteristic of this wave is that children also develop a severe form of the disease and some reach respirators, said Jerlek.

In Serbia, 44.8 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.


The Cypriot government adopted new measures this week to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country. From November 29, all children aged 6-11 are required to submit the so-called "Safe Pass", which for this age group means a certificate of having undergone COVID-19 in the last six months or of a PCR or rapid antigen test performed in the last seven days.

Also, primary school students will undergo a rapid antigen test once a week, which will be performed by mobile groups of the Ministry of Health. All school Christmas celebrations are canceled. Celebrations organized by other organizations will require the express permission of the Ministry of Health.

In places with a high risk of transmission of COVID-19, rapid tests will be performed by mobile groups of all persons, regardless of their age and vaccination status. From 1 December, all persons over the age of 18 who have not completed their vaccination cycle will have to take a PCR test with a validity of 72 hours or a rapid test with a validity of 48 hours in order to receive a "Safe Pass".

As of December 18, the provision of "Safe Pass" to those persons who have not received a booster dose of vaccines after seven months from the initial vaccination is canceled.

From December 15, the access of persons over 12 years of age, who have not been given at least one dose of the vaccines, in indoor and outdoor sports fields, theaters, cinemas, theaters, nightclubs, discos and catering establishments is prohibited.

Cyprus has seen an increase in new infections with COVID-19, but the proportion of positive tests remains below one percent. On Wednesday, 434 cases were registered with 61,424 laboratory tests performed. 0.71 percent of the surveys are positive. 117 patients are hospitalized and 39 of them are in serious condition. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 131,462 people infected with COVID-19 and 590 deaths have been registered in the country.

1.28 million doses of vaccine have been given in the country, with 580,000 people or 48.1 percent of the population fully vaccinated.


CROATIA registered 6,246 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and 64 deaths. Currently, there are 34,953 active cases in the country, and 2,529 people are receiving hospital treatment, including 316 patients on respirators.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 589,015 cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in the country, 543,493 people have been cured and 10,569 have died.

By Wednesday, more than 4.04 million doses of the vaccine had been given, with 53.02 per cent of the total population and 63.28 per cent of the adult population vaccinated. More than 2.15 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, representing 56.5 percent of the country's adult population.


SLOVENIA reports a slight improvement in the epidemiological situation. In the last 24 hours, 2668 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths have been registered in the country. This is significantly less than in previous days, and other epidemiological parameters also show a slight improvement on a daily and weekly basis, Slovenian health authorities said.

A total of 1,145 patients were hospitalized and 286 were in intensive care units.

Yesterday the active cases were 42,559, which is 898 less than the previous day.

The seven-day morbidity is 2786 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the 14-day - 2019 per 100,000 inhabitants.


ALBANIA reports a decline in new cases of COVID-19. 516 infections and five deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. Currently, 157 patients with COVID-19 are receiving hospital treatment, and 23 of them are in serious condition. 597 people were cured in the last 24 hours.

There are 7718 active cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 198,292 positive cases have been registered and 3,068 people have lost their lives.

2.05 million doses of vaccine have been given in the country, and 943,000 people or 33.2 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated.


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