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Dr. Kon says next two weeks will be the hardest; we all have to wear protective gear

The First Web Conference of the Patient Forum of Serbia is under way today, from 9 am to 4 pm

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The web conference, "We Are Here," is organized by the Patient Forum of Serbia, at which eminent experts talk about coronavirus and its impact on other diseases.

The first interlocutor was epidemiologist Predrag Kon, who pointed out that the next, fourth week of the outbreak in Serbia is the most important, when the strongest acceleration is expected, while in the fifth week, the epidemic will reach its peak. Possibly, he said, it could be extended later due to the measures taken.

"The situation is as expected. Unfortunately it is what it is. The threat still exists. It's particularly important to have iron discipline these next two weeks," he says.

According to him, iron discipline is needed by everyone now. He said that in order for mass testing to begin, we need to have testing kits, and these are expected from the WHO.

"Accelerated testing has practically already begun but not the way we would like it to be."

When asked who will be sent to the Belgrade Fair and who will go to the hospital - and will those who think they have coronavirus go there, he replied:

"Only those who have already been diagnosed or who have previously been hospitalized somewhere and are in the final phase (of the infection) will go to the Fair."

When will the Fair be ready and are patients already being transferred there?

"I have no information that patients are already transferred, but everything is ready."

How many big quarantines are there in Serbia?

"As far as the terms quarantine and isolation are concerned, quarantine is intended exclusively for healthy people, those who come from abroad. There are completely healthy people in it, but there is a possibility they will show some symptoms in the next 14 days. Isolation is completely different. We need to have isolation for the mildest cases. For those who have very mild symptoms and get worse, they can be transferred to a hospital."

Do you think there will be those who will refuse to be sent to the the Fair?

"There has always been avoidance in all major epidemics. There has always been irrational behavior, even threats, attacks, uncontrollable fear. There is nothing wrong with that Fair."

What should chronic patients younger than 65 do?

"If the ban (on leaving the house) doesn't include them, they should take care. A state of emergency helps greatly in (curbing) the transmission of the virus. We're waiting for the vaccine. Eventually, we will all have to be infected."

How many people have already had a clinical picture that didn't show symptoms?

"In our country, since February 6, we have been controlling everyone who enters. We had suspicious cases that we examined. But we were fortunate enough to discover it later. Was there a case earlier, probably there was. How many people have the virus will be discussed later when the serological analysis is done. It is said to be five to 10 times higher than the number of confirmed cases. I think five, others say 10, but I also don't think we only have 2,000."

The most vulnerable are chronic patients with coronavirus.

"It's extremely important for chronic patients to take therapy and not play with that, in order to be in best condition with their illness. And most importantly, that they don't get infected. The next two weeks are the hardest. As for going out, we have no more time to argue. No more time. Now we will all wear protective gear."

Does the decision to allow people to walk their pet really have to be reversed?

"I saw people meeting beyond the time allowed. I don't have a rigorous approach, but if it isn't respected, then everyone will suffer. I also understand that action can't be complete, but that's where we are."

Can one go to a dentist if they get a toothache? We had a dentist who worked while infected with coronavirus?

"Patient admissions are down to something urgent. If something hurts, there's an inflammation, that must be taken care of. And how the dentists will behave... It could have happened to anyone, an individual should not be made into a case, and the point is that it should not happen again. We also have the doctor from Nis who died. But she got infected outside, not in the health facility."

This unique web conference started at 9 o'clock and will last until 6 pm, with prominent doctors of all specialties taking part, who, in addition to psychological help, will talk about the impact of coronavirus on other diseases and provide answers to numerous questions from patients suffering from malignancies, autoimmune, and chronic noninfectious diseases.


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