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"If we carry on like this, people will be dying because there will be no place in hospitals"

Zoran Gojkovic says that the situation in Serbia's province of Vojvodina is unstable, and that the healthcare system will not survive if twice as many people get infected with coronavirus

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Photo: Tanjug/Serbian government/Slobodan Miljevic

Provincial Secretary of Health Zoran Gojkovic has stated that the situation in Vojvodina is unstable, and that the number of 52.4 patients infected with coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants shows that this is a cause for alarm.

"There is no municipality in Vojvodina that doesn't have an infected person. The situation is uncertain but under control. It will be true as long as we don't have twice as many infected people. That would be a big blow to our healthcare system," stated Gojkovic.

However, his predictions are not at all optimistic.

Klinički centar Vojvodine, KORONA VIRUS VOJVODINA

Photo: Tanjug/Jaroslav Pap

"If we continue to behave in a way that allows virus transmission, we expect that to happen in 5 to 7 days. That is why now is high time for all of us to start respecting measures," the secretary warned.

As he pointed out, this is a fight of the whole society.

"The healthcare system in Vojvodina will not be able to provide help to all patients. I know we have crowds in front of Covid outpatient clinics, these are people with milder symptoms. Imagine when those crowds are in front of hospitals. When they start dying because there are no more beds for them in the hospitals," said Gojkovic and added:

"There is a huge pressure on healthcare workers, people have been in hazmat suits for 4 months... If we keep accepting patients at this rate, the healthcare system in Vojvodina will not withstand it."

He added that his friends have been sending him appeals and pleas.

"If someone does not adhere to measures, are they ready to sign a paper they will not go to the hospital if they gets coronavirus? Are they ready to not receive medical help for them and for those closest to them? We just need to ask ourselves that, while we will treat all patients as much as we can," he said.

He added that the third building in the Clinical Center of Vojvodina has been opened, that it is new, and that there are capacities in other clinics as well, but that patients who do not have coronavirus also must need medical treatment.

"In case of further need, we will activate hospitals in Subotica, Sombor, Sremska Mitrovica, Vrbas and Vrsac," the secretary stated.

277 healthcare workers infected

He also said that since March 6, that is, since the beginning of the epidemic in Serbia, 277 healthcare workers in Vojvodina have been infected with coronavirus.

"Some of them recovered, others have recovered in the meantime. But we have to save them. With a larger number of patients, they will also start getting sick and we will be seeing scenes like the ones we saw in southern Serbia," said Gojkovic.

Over the previous 24 hours, 122 new cases have been confirmed in Vojvodina, of which 60 in Novi Sad.

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