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Djerlek: No time to relax measures. British strain is brutal, we'd have 100 dead without vaccine

The state secretary in the Ministry of Health assessed that the British strain of coronavirus is brutal, and that it is causing serious problems in Serbia

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Mirsad Ðerlek

Photo: Tanjug/Tara Radovanovic

State Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mirsad Djerlek said that this afternoon Serbia will exceed the number of one million citizens who will have received both doses of the Covid vaccine. He says that the British strain is so brutal that it causes us serious problems, as well as that healthcare workers are investing the last atoms of strength.

Mirsad Djerlek told the RTS morning program that currently 967,000 people in Serbia have received both doses of the vaccine, while today the plan is to administer the second dose to 42,000 citizens.

"That means that we will exceed the number of one million revaccinated people by 2 or 4 pm. This is extremely important. If there was no revaccination and if we had not achieved such a large number of revaccinated people, we would be losing over 100 lives on a daily basis," Djerlek stressed and added that over 1,412,000 first doses have been administered so far.

His message is that the accelerated immunization must continue, as well as that we will receive almost two million new doses of vaccines in April.

"That makes us satisfied and we must continue to go towards that next million by the end of April, because only in that way can we hope to defeat coronavirus," stated Djerlek.

He stressed that we are getting enough vaccines, and that he hopes that by the end of May we can have 2.5 million people who have received both doses of the vaccine.

"That gives us the right to say that we can welcome a calmer summer than last year," Djerlek added.

Mobile (vaccination) teams are going to rural areas, visiting Romani settlements, he said. Asked whether the number of people interested in vaccination is increasing in smaller communities, Djerlek said that the goal is to speed up immunization as much as possible, as well as that the focus is now on rural areas, suburban settlements, remote villages.

"That is yielding results. We had very bad results in Zagubica, Merosina, Tutin and other places, but our goal is to move towards those and other places even faster, with even more capacity, because there is really a lot of confusion in those remote places, but when I was in the field I saw that when you talk to people and explain, that people are interested in vaccination and we have made significant progress in those places," said Djerlek.

Asked whether the healthcare system can sustain itself given the number of new cases and patients who require hospitalization, Djerlek said that he hopes that it can.

"The British strain is so brutal that it is causing us serious problems. We currently have more than 7,116 patients in hospitals with a tendency of that number increasing every day. We need to expand Covid capacities. Suffice it to say that we already have about 910 patients in the hospital in Batajnica, and they all exhibit a severe clinical picture," said Djerlek.

He stressed that he is sure that the healthcare system is ready to respond to that task.

"However, I must point out that our healthcare workers are very tired and are using the last atoms of strength to respond to their job and I cannot miss the opportunity to thank them once again," said Djerlek.

"No room for relaxing measures"

Asked whether it is realistic to expect the Covid measures to be relaxed, Djerlek said that his opinion is that there is no room for that.

"Looking at the numbers, 41 people lost the fight against Covid yesterday, our hospitals are full. That decision will be made by the Crisis HQ, whether the measures will be relaxed, but my personal opinion is that there is no room for that. And the ones we brought are being violated and we need to show much more seriousness and solidarity in order to defeat coronavirus," Djerlek pointed out.

(Telegraf.rs)

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