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These are measures we will live with for at least the next year: Forget about your old habits

Coming up with a good vaccine takes years of research

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Tržni centar, maske, građani, Delata siti, koronavirus

Photo: Tanjug/Sava Radovanovic

There will be a new wave every month if we relax anti-coronavirus measures, the ban on contacts should be in  people's heads, and wearing masks indoors is necessary so as not to endanger one's own, but also the health of others - says epidemiologist Doctor Predrag Kon.

Does this - especially the very beginning of Kon's address - mean that we will be trapped in some measures - practically forever or if not forever, then at least for a long while?!

Wearing masks indoors, physically distancing from other people, avoiding places where a large number of people gather, avoiding hugging your friends - these are just some of the measures we have to live with.

At least until a vaccine is developed - but it won't be soon, there is every chance (certainly not for another year), or until we gain collective immunity - and it looks like that won't be happening any time soon, either.


Predrag Kon; Photo: Tanjug/Tara Radovanovic

Doctor Zarko Rankovic, an infectologist and professor, explained for the daily Blic that we still have many doubts when it comes to coronavirus - but that what is certain is that we will have to learn to live with it, and also change our behavior, taking care of ourselves, and other people.

"We have to take care of ourselves in the following way, we must wear masks indoors, masks are mandatory when entering public transport, taxis, post offices, banks,, wherever. Masks should be worn when we enter a pharmacy, a store," explained Professor Rankovic.

Forget your old habits of hugging and kissing

Our habits of greeting, hugging and intimacy with our friends - traveling, going to a club, to concerts, will have to be put on hold for some calmer waters - because each of us can be a virus carrier and that is what is dangerous with this virus.

"When we meet someone, we must behave in a way we are not used to, and that means that there is no handshake, but a bow, young people like to hug, to express emotions as they meet each other - I don't think now is a time for that. Celebrations, birthdays, christenings, weddings should be postponed, at least until the fall. According to what I hear from my colleagues, most people who got infected attended some party or a gathering," said Professor Rankovic.

While we may not like the fact that we have to postpone celebrations, what is certain even is that even if we have them, they will have to be "under masks."

Epidemiologists explain that in the coming period it is important to be aware of how fast the virus is spreading, that it is surprising us every day, but also that it will be of great importance if we are socially responsible, i.e., if we refrain from anything that poses a risk of infection.

A good vaccine takes years of research

Scientists around the world are extensively testing 150 coronavirus vaccines, of which 17 have already been tested on humans.

Among the most serious candidates are the United States, China, but also the British-Swedish pharmaceutical concerns, whose clinical trials are in the so-called "second phase" -  which means that they are largely testing vaccines on a human, volunteer population.

Russia, Germany and other countries are not lagging behind either, as they are actively participating in the race for the vaccine that will stop Covid-19.

Scientists around the world explain that a good vaccine requires many years of research, but it is certainly expecte that the first vaccine verified as effective will be produced by the end of 2020.

According to current announcements, vaccines in Serbia are expected in the second half of 2021, or at the beginning of 2022 at the latest.

Collective immunity is still a long way off

Collective immunity requires as many as 60-70 percent of the population to acquire antibodies. As epidemiologists have explained earlier, a certain number of people fight off Covid-19 without feeling any symptoms, but by thinking that they are healthy, they also infect those people with whom they come into contact.


Photo: Tanjug/Dragan Kujundzic

The first results of the National Seroepidemiological Study, which the daily Blic has seen, shows that it is estimated that only 6.4 percent of people in our country have acquired coronavirus antibodies.

Although the views of experts on the issue regarding collective immunity differ - some believe that we have reached it, while others say we are very far from a degree that would protect us, the fact is that we have not reached what is necessary for its creation.

"If over 60 percent of the population acquires antibodies, then we will have collective immunity and that is a very important fact that can lead us to the point where we as a country can have our peace of mind. It is certain that this many people in Serbia will get infected, the only question is at what interval, and that is what we should worry about," Doctor Branimir Tiodorovic told Blic earlier.

On the other hand, his colleague Doctor Darija Kisic Tepavcevic commented on a study by experts from the Faculty of Medicine, according to which 6.4 percent of citizens have acquired immunity, to say that this is "real data" and that we should not rely on collective immunity.


Darija Kisic Tepavcevic; Photo: Tanjug/Serbian government/Slobodan Miljevic

"These are the results of a pilot research by experts from the Faculty of Medicine, whether it is a lot or a little... It is what it is. Everyone would like it to be 100 percent, but this is the realistic data. With each new day, looking at the number of new patients, we naturally acquire that immunity, while I note that we should not rely on that collective immunity, instead we should do everything to prevent the virus from multiplying in our bodies," Doctor Kisic Tepavcevic explained earlier.

How far we really might be from acquiring collective immunity - we don't know. Also, as it has been said in recent days that we don't seem to know much about the virus itself, because it surprised us again, as predictions about the end of the fight against the epidemic did not come true, and warmer weather did not usher a significantly better epidemiological situation.

Some measures we will live with for at least another year

- Wearing masks indoors (offices, public transport, post offices, banks, pharmacies, stores, shopping malls...)

- No intimate greetings

- Avoiding mass gatherings, either indoors or outdoors

- Washing our hands as often as possible

- Always have a disinfectant handy

- Maintaining one-meter physical distance

Video: These are three new measures in Belgrade: No curfew, but these restrictions must be respected


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