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We've lived uranium for 21 years, we'll fight off coronavirus, too: A walk through hotspot Vranje

The sudden jump in the number of patients in Vranje was caused by the appearance of coronavirus in local factories

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Monday brought 16 new cases of coronavirus to Vranje and the Pcinj District, while 52 new cases of the virus were recorded on Sunday. With this, Vranje became a new Serbian hotspot during the end of the pandemic and the lifting of the state of emergency in Serbia. The warm May morning lured primarily older Vranje residents to the streets, and what was noticeable was that most of them wore masks and gloves, because the city's Emergency Situations Headquarters made decisions based on which everyone must adhere to strict prevention measures.

"The City Headquarters for Emergency Situations appeals to all legal entities, entrepreneurs, as well as service users to behave and take all necessary preventive measures, and once again notes that all prescribed measures will be strictly controlled by competent inspections. Bearing in mind that the epidemic of a contagious disease of greater epidemiological significance is still in force, the City Emergency Headquarters appeals on all citizens to adhere to all preventive measures in order to protect against the infectious disease COVID-19," said some of the conclusions of the Emergency HQ.

Number of cases rises, cause in factories

The sudden jump in the number of patients in Vranje was caused by the appearance of coronavirus in local factories. Out of the number of new patients on Monday morning, 14 people are from Vranje and two from Surdulica. According to data from the Institute of Public Health, according to epidemiologist Dr. Sladjan Stankovic, the number of patients has literally flared up, but the largest number come from the private factory Dodic, where 10 workers tested positive for coronavirus.

"We sent 280 findings, 190 arrived, most of them from a private factory. Two patients have been hospitalized in Nis, two with a more severe picture in the reopened Covid hospital at the Surgery Ward," says Stankovic.

In addition to the Dodic furniture factory, coronavirus was also reported in the Deni Stil factory, while one worker of the Geox factory was infected. This company suspended work until Thursday. Also, some other companies reduced the number of those who work on Monday.

People are surprised, but not afraid

The people in Vranje are surprised by the return of coronavirus, considering that most of them had respected the measures when it came to wearing masks and gloves during the previous days.

Also, in the past few days, prevention measures have been respected in hospitality facilities, stores, transportation and markets. Now the control has been tightened, but there are still long queues in front of banks. While waiting, the people in Vranje say that they are careful, but also that they hope that coronavirus will not harm them.

They jokingly add that they have been living with depleted uranium for 21 years after the (NATO) bombing - so they will also find a way to fight off coronavirus.

93 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized in the Vranje hospital. Most new patients are workers from the furniture factory Dodic from Vranje, says the director of the Healthcare Center Vranje, Ljiljana Antic.

"After the discovery of a hotspot in that company, during the weekend, 137 workers and their contacts were tested at the ATD clinic. 44 of them are positive, and we are waiting for the results for several more suspicious cases," says Antic and adds that rumors that the factory Simpo is a new hotbed of infection are not true.

According to her, 41 patients are accommodated in the reactivated Covid 2 hospital in the building of the old Surgery Ward.

Antic points out that this facility, after the increased influx of patients, was reactivated in record time, with maximum commitment of all employees.

After last night's visit to all three Covid hospitals, the director states, it was concluded that most patients show a mild clinical picture or are asymptomatic.

Eight of those hospitalized have a milder form of pneumonia, while four are on oxygen.

Video: Vucic: The situation in Vranje is not good, but it is somewhat better than yesterday

(S.T.)

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