Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addressed the public today in regards to the coronavirus. President stated that Serbia is taking very serious measures to prevent and combat the spread of coronavirus.
photo by Tanjug news agency, Dragan Kujundzic
“Thanks to those measures, he said, “the epidemic curve has not exploded, as has happened in many countries, stronger and richer than Serbia.” “More people have died from seasonal influenza than people who have contracted coronavirus. I will not allow attacks on experts.”
“Everything we said at the first press conference, we approach responsibly and we urge the citizens not to panic and show fear. Everything we did turned out to be justified,” Vucic said.
“We realized that it is good to refer to the profession and the best doctors and only when we do it, the results will be good,” he added.
He cited as an example the civil services of January 21 to March 10: 71.000 passengers were screened, 1.234 were screened from transportation and only 1.925 were screened from airplanes. A supervisory measure was passed for 265 passengers, while 20 passengers from Nis airport were sent home in isolation.
President added that measures were also introduced at smaller border crossings, especially towards Bosnia-Herzegovina, while 26 passengers were returned from Batrovac.
The President of Serbia urged the citizens of Serbia to notify the competent medical services immediately as soon as they suspect the coronavirus, so that the virus would not spread even further. He cited a man who was with his son in Italy but did not report feeling ill.
“I urge you to notify us if you were in Milan, coronavirus should not enter into clinical centers in Serbia. We know how to check, because it is especially dangerous for older people who have other diseases. Tell us, so that we can save you,” he repeated.
“I will not allow attacks on expert people because people are only concerned about themselves,” he said, adding: “Nobody said it was the funniest virus ever, except that people said there was no reason to panic. More people died from H1N1 than coronavirus infection.”
President also thanked the doctors. “Healthcare professionals will have special incentives when all this goes by,” Vucic said.
Speaking about public gatherings, the President of Serbia announced that so far outdoor gatherings have not been banned, but that the decision, which will be adopted today at the Government session, is to ban gatherings indoors, which involve more than 100 people.
He added that there is no need to close educational institutions.
“Anything up to 100 people presents no problem, because these are generations that, even when they go through it, have no problems, but I will say again – hand washing and soap.”
“Another measure we are introducing is increased control at all border crossings. Some temporary border crossings will be closed. All large ones will work, but with increased control,” Vucic said.
According to president Vucic, experts in Serbia think that the crisis will occur on the eve of Catholic and Orthodox Easter, so the recommendation of health and epidemiological experts is that there is no need to close schools for now.
According to the President, all the politicians who met with representatives of the health services involved in the fight against coronavirus were in favor of closing schools, but that doctors said it was not the time to do so.
Vucic also said that our citizens living abroad who are planning to visit Serbia during the Easter holidays will be asked not to come to Serbia if there is coronavirus in their country of origin. “I would ask all citizens to follow the recommendations of experts at weddings and baby christenings.”
The president said the number of people infected did not mean the number of dead.
“When you hear we have 12, 20 and 50 people infected with coronavirus, it does not mean we have so many dead. We will have a small number of people with deadly outcome – small compared to other diseases.”
Vucic thanked the doctors who care for the people and told them that they are heroes of our time and that this will remain on record.
“Weather conditions will be much more favorable in the days to come and the doctors agree that the virus will be more difficult to transmit then,” he said, stating that Serbia could manage this better than some of the richer countries.
“It is up to us to have strong control over these processes and to manage to do this much better than the far more affluent and economically prosperous EU countries”, President Vucic concluded.