Belgrade to reimpose curfew to suppress COVID-19 outbreak: Serbian president

Serbia will once again impose curfew here in capital city from Friday to Monday in order to suppress another outbreak of COVID-19, said President Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday at a press conference broadcasted on the national television.

Vucic said that the situation in Belgrade, a city of 1.4 million people, is alarming because COVID-19 hospitals are running at full capacity, while in four other cities he defined the state as serious.

Vucic explained that besides the curfew, other measures will include a ban on gatherings of more than five people both indoors and outdoors in places where the 2-meter distancing cannot be secured.

So far 19 Serbian cities and municipalities including Belgrade have declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 second outbreak, imposing mandatory use of masks indoors and a ban on gatherings.

Serbia lifted the nationwide state of emergency on May 6 and returned life to normal – sports matches were held with the audience, while on June 21, Serbians were the first people to vote at a national election on the European continent since the start of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vucic said that Tuesday was the hardest day in Serbia during the whole pandemic.

In the past 24 hours, 299 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. Authorities reported 13 deaths, the highest single day number since the epidemic began in March, while 110 people are on ventilators.

Currently there are 2,942 active cases of COVID-19 in Serbia, of which around 80 percent were reported in Belgrade. On Monday Belgrade Arena, the biggest sports and cultural facility in the city, was turned into COVID-19 hospital and started receiving patients.

Vucic assured that there is enough medical equipment, such as ventilators, to take care of patients with serious symptoms.

Since the epidemic was declared in Serbia in March, 455,604 people have been tested, 16,719 turned out positive, while 330 have died of the disease.