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Djerlek: We will ask for more rigorous measures at Crisis HQ if Covid passes prove to be ineffective

"The position of the Ministry of Health is to wait seven to ten days and if there is a positive effect we will be satisfied, if not during the Crisis HQ meeting the Ministry will ask for more rigorous and much more effective measures," said Mirsad Djerlek

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State Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mirsad Djerlek told RTS that it is a legitimate move for the state to protect the health and lives of citizens, and that Covid passes are being introduced to protect lives. We will wait for seven to ten days, and if there is a positive effect, we will be satisfied, if not, the Ministry will ask for more rigorous and much more effective measures during the Crisis HQ meeting, Djerlek stressed.

Serbia is approaching a negative record - according to the last report, 61 people died in one day as a result of Covid. The worst day so far was last December 4, when 69 people died.

The first death was recorded on March 20, 2020, and 9,570 people have died so far. The percentage of deaths in relation to the number of infected people since the beginning of the epidemic is 0.87 percent.

Djerlek told RTS that a high number of new daily cases has been maintained for weeks, at one point there were 8,500 new cases, these are serious numbers, the number of people we lose every day is increasing.

"Yesterday's number of 61 people that we lost will not be the highest number that we will experience in the fourth wave, and even with the vaccines, that is a worrying number," said Djerlek.

Last year, in early December, it was decided to shut down hospitality establishments during weekends. Some measures had been further tightened. Speaking about whether punishing those who do cannot show the Covid pass after 10 pm can improve the situation, Djerlek says that it is not understood as punishment, but a legitimate move by the state to protect the health and lives of citizens.

He wondered if that would have an effect. The position of the Ministry of Health is to wait seven to ten days and if there is a positive effect, they will be satisfied, if not, the Ministry will ask for more rigorous and much more effective measures at the Crisis HQ, said Djerlek.

As he said, the position of the Ministry of Health is that a safe vaccine has no alternative, especially when we have our own vaccine from the Torlak institute.

"Now we have our vaccine, all those stories from social networks are failing, I expect that citizens will be much more determined, braver, show more solidarity and that we will increase the number of vaccinated people," says Djerlek.

Stepped up inspections

Inspection checks have been intensified for some time. Yesterday, a big sporting event started in Belgrade, almost no one among the visitors wore a mask, the distance between them was not respected.

Djerlek says that he is a big fan of sports and is happy to see those events, such as the World Boxing Championship.

"I am not the organizer, if they managed to check everyone's Covid pass... but I cannot support such situations where we have a large number of contacts, and it's in our interest to prevent, break the chain of the spread of the epidemic," said Djerlek.

Can the health care system sustain pressure

"While visiting hospitals across Serbia, it is evident and visible that health workers are tired, there are also emotional things, I admire how they find positive energy and fight for people's lives. Bearing in mind that we have such brave people, and that the state stands behind the health care system, I am sure that the health care system can respond to the most difficult challenges," says the secretary of state.

He reiterated that vaccination has no alternative when it comes to infectious diseases, on the other hand, it is useless to introduce all epidemic measures, so we are committed to strict control and zero tolerance when it comes to controlling new measures.

Covid passes and effects

"We will wait seven to ten days, if the passes have no effect the Ministry will ask for more restrictive measures, whether they will be adopted will depend on the Crisis HQ and the position of the majority," the state secretary in the Ministry of Health underlined:

"The virus lives with us and in us, always looking for the unvaccinated."

He pointed out to the local self-governments that are at the bottom of the vaccination list like Tutin, Lakojkovac, Merosina.

"Young people understand young people best, that is why they should organize panels and their peers should address them, to tell them what they went through and what they had to survive," concluded Djerlek.

Video: How to get a Covid pass in 5 minutes: The complete video tutorial


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