At the sitting held on 27 February, the Health and Family Committee was briefed on the epidemiological situation in the Republic of Serbia in relation to the new corona virus.
Committee Chairman Dr Sci.med Darko Laketic emphasized the importance of keeping the public duly informed on the situation both in the country and globally, saying that today’s sitting is an excellent way to do so considering that a great many citizens had addressed the Committee in search of accurate information. The Committee Chairman said that the misinformation spread by the media has caused public alarm making it imperative that the information brought to public attention be correct and reflect the situation in the field, which is that there are currently no patients affected by the coronavirus in the country.
“It is expected that such cases will appear, but that is no reason to cause panic because we are ready to respond to the appearance of the virus”, Laketic said.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Health Prof. Dr Berislav Vekic confirmed that there are no registered cases of the coronavirus in the Republic of Serbia. A total of 20 persons likely to have been exposed have been tested for the virus so far and all the results were negative.
Vekic said that the virus has been registered in 43 countries, in 82,107 patients, with 2,804 fatalities.
The recommendations are to avoid persons with signs of the virus and mass gatherings, maintain hand hygiene with soap of alcohol gels, wear protective masks and avoid contact with animals living or dead.
Acting director of “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut” Public Health Institute Dr Verica Jovanovic and assistant director Darija Kisic Tepavcevic said that the Republic of Serbia is ready for a potential outbreak and treatment of the virus and that there is no need to panic. They stressed that the situation is closely followed on an hourly basis and even if the virus occurs most patients will have minimal symptoms and in many they will not appear at all, so only 15% of the people who contract the virus are expected to necessitate hospitalisation.
Representative of the World Health Organization in Serbia Marjan Ivanus believes the likelihood of the coronavirus appearing in Serbia to be very high, but all measures to need to limit its spread will be employed adding that WHO has secured 1000 tests for Serbia. He congratulated all the institutions in Serbia who had done employed all the preventive measures and preparations for the possible appearance of the virus.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Dr Sci.med Darko Laketic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Radoslav Jovic, Dr Muamer Bacevac, Dr Milovan Krivokapic, Dr Svetlana Nikolic Pavlovic, Dr Danica Bukvic, Dr Dragana Barisic, Dr Desanka Repac, Prof. Dr Milan Knezevic, Dr Ljubica Mrdakovic Todorovic and Dr Danijela Stojadinovic.