Measures and Recommendations for Protection and prevention from Coronavirus COVID 19
What is COVID-19?
SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus from the family Coronavirus initially discovered in China in December 2019. The virus causes acute viral respiratory disease. The virus spreads from person to person, touch and respiratory droplets (coughing, sneezing, etc.).
The initial experiences show that elderly and chronically ill are exposed to higher risk of complications and severe forms of disease. The incubation period is 14 days during which the infected do not show any symptoms, but can transmit the virus to other people.
All passengers coming from high-and medium-risk countries should be in self-isolation within 14 days in their homes and to report themselves to the authorities should they feel any symptoms.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The initial symptoms in people infected with COVID-19 are:
1. Fever and high body temperature;
2. Dry cough;
3. Difficulties in breathing.
The disease may cause severe complications that may disrupt the function of:
• Respiratory organs;
• Cardiovascular system;
The disease can vary from mild to severe from with possible fatal consequences. The treatment of the diseased is palliative and symptomatic. At this moment there is no antivirus therapy or vaccine available for prevention from COVID-19.
How to protect from COVID-19?
- Wash your hands frequently using soap and water, longer than 1 minute; cover all parts of the hands and fingers;
- Avoid close contact with ill people or people who have returned from travel to high- and medium-risk countries;
- Use disinfectants or alcohol-based tissues;
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues and dispose of the used tissue immediately into a safe place. If you do not have a tissue, cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow;
- Follow the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health and inform yourselves regularly from the competent institutions regard news and directions.
What if you suspect that you have COVID-19?
According to the recommendations and protocols of the Infectious Diseases Committee, all passengers arriving from regions of risk, as well as the ones who are in self-isolation should, immediately after feeling any symptoms characteristic for COVID-19, call the contact phones within the epidemiology services that are available on the territory of the whole country. The measures have been introduced since the very beginning and it is highly recommended for all citizens not to visit their general practitioner in order to avoid situations of direct contact and risk with possibly infected patients.
CONTACT NUMBERS FOR SYPMTOMS CHARACTERISTIC FOR CORONAVIRUS:
How to self-isolate properly?
• Stay home, except during an emergency. If possible, work from home.
• Distance yourself from others in different spaces. Air the spaces regularly.
• If possible, use separate toilets/bathrooms. Alternatively, regularly disinfect the ones that everyone uses.
• Avoid sharing household appliances such as hand towels, covers, cups and glasses, and other crockery.
• If you order food/products through delivery services, let another member of the household to receive them, avoid contact with the delivery persons.
• Keep a safe distance of 1 to 2 meters from others
• Clean the surfaces of your home which you use most
• Follow the recommendations for prevention from health institutions.
If you feel similar or the same symptoms as the flu, do not visit a doctor, instead call the centres for public health.
What if you travel to and from the high- and medium-risk countries?
If you need to travel in some of the countries that are on the list of high- or medium-risk countries, it recommended to postpone your travel except if this journey is related to medical causes.
Should you travel to some of these countries, it is mandatory to report yourself to the border police that you come from such country and to start a period of self-isolation for a period of 14 days. If at the moment you are located in some of the given countries, we recommend increased precaution measures at any time: follow the local media and directions issued by the local authorities. More information on: travel.mfa.gov.mk
For more detailed information regarding the developments in Italy, the Macedonian citizens can contact our General Consular Office in Venice, tel. + 39 389 5837913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Renewed data March 11th 2020, WHO)
Measures adopted by the Government for prevention of spreading of COVID-19
At its 15th regular session (10.03.2020) the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia discussed the information submitted by the Steering Committee for Coordination and Management at the Crisis Management System for undertaking additional measures and activities for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus upon the suggestion of the Ministry of Health's Infectious Diseases Committee, and adopted the following conclusions:
1. To increase measures and activities for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus.
2. To suspend the educational process and teaching in all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and high-education facilities, and in the public science institutes on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia in the following 14 days. All extracurricular programmes such as foreign language courses etc. are also temporarily suspended.
3. For the implementation of this measure, one of the parents of children aged under 10, who are exempt from the obligation to attend kindergartens or schools, is exempt from his/her work obligations.
4. To prohibit mass gatherings and indoor and outdoor events, as well as all cultural events and manifestations for more than 1000 people across the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia in the next 14 days. The Government recommends not holding public events expected to be attended by up to 1000 participants.
5. To prohibit attendance of spectators at all sporting events across the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia in the next 30 days.
6. Mandatory self-isolation is introduced for people returning from high and medium risk countries in a period of 14 days (in accordance with the list by the World Health Organization).
7. To prohibit export of medical equipment and medical supplies by economic operators and manufacturers from the Republic of North Macedonia, except with a special permit issued by the Ministry of Health.
8. Elderly people and high-risk categories of citizens with chronic diseases should reduce their movements and avoid public transport.
9. Travelling to high- and medium-risk countries in accordance with the list by the World Health Organization should be avoided.
10. The State Election Committee to release employees of public health institutions from further participation in the election process and to replace them with others.
11. Private and legal entities which fail to respect and violate the recommendations shall be sanctioned under Articles 205 and 206 of the Criminal Code.
12. To introduce a health locator card for all flights and all airlines, i.e. a form filled out by passengers, containing contact information to facilitate contacting them in case of need.
13. To prohibit organised international bus transport (bus, van, minibus etc.) to high-risk countries, as well as from such countries to the Republic of North Macedonia.
14. To increase the presence of volunteers of the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, at all border crossings.
15. To completely respect the prevention measures for this disease referred to by the Ministry of Health concerning the enhanced hygiene measures.
16. To refer a conclusion and recommendation by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to all state authorities and local self-governance units for temporary suspension of work obligations (not going to work and staying at home) for pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.
17. All public enterprises and private companies that carry out public transport of passengers are to perform regular disinfection of transport vehicles.
18. The Government recommends to all government and state institutions, as well as to public enterprises, to cancel all trips or organise scheduled meetings via internet communication.
19. All government and state institutions, as well as public enterprises, are tasked with introducing measures for protection and disinfection in all state institutions at their entrances. The Government recommends this measure to companies from the real sector as well.
At its 16th regular session (11.03.2020) the Government discussed the information submitted by the Steering Committee for Coordination and Management at the Crisis Management System for undertaking additional measures and activities for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus upon the suggestion of the Ministry of Health's Infectious Diseases Committee, and adopted the following conclusions:
1. The following categories of persons that are to be exempt from work and work activities are determined, based on certificate from a general practitioner on the following conditions:
Chronic respiratory diseases;
Severe cardiovascular diseases;
Diabetes TYPE 1;
Malign diseases, and
In pursuance to this the Ministry of Health and the Infectious Diseases Committee are assigned to prepare and submit a list of conditions (diagnosis) regarding the above-mentioned health conditions.
2. During this period all employees in the health sector should not use their annual vacation, paid and unpaid leaves.
3. The Institute of Public Health is assigned to prepare a text/message for printed and electronic media with regard to compliance with the recommendations on COVID-19 which is to be delivered to the Ministry of Health for further processing and publication.
4. The Ministry of Health is assigned to repurpose the telephone number of ALO DOKTORE from the flyer into a call-centre with increased capacity in order to provide answers/information on COVID-19 (coronavirus).
5. The Public Enterprise Macedonia Radio-Television is recommended use its TV channels and the Assembly Channel in order to regularly and daily publish all conclusions, measures and recommendations adopted by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia for prevention of spreading the COVID-19 disease (coronavirus), as well as the press-conferences that are held on this topic.
6. The Joint Stock Company MIA is advised to regularly and daily publish all conclusions, measures and recommendations adopted by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia for prevention of spreading the COVID-19 disease (coronavirus), as well as the press-conferences that are held on this topic.
7. All bodies of the state administration, public enterprises founded by the state, joint stock companies in state ownership, agencies, funds, bureaus and all other national institutions are obligated, while the local self-government units in the Republic of North Macedonia, public enterprises and other legal entities established by the local self-government units are pointed and the private sector is recommended to contact the competent organization units on human resources within their institutions and to assign them to ask the employees within the institutions and companies who use the exemption from work, in pursuance to the conclusions, measures and recommendations of the Government, to submit proof/certificate for the criteria they meet to use this exemption (certificate issued from kindergartens or payment order for paid fee for kindergarten stay, copy from passport or copy from a birth certificate to prove the child’s age, certificate from educational institutions that the child regularly attends classes or copy from a record book).
8. All bodies of the state administration, public enterprises founded by the state, joint stock companies in state ownership, agencies, funds, bureaus and all other national institutions are obligated, while the local self-government units in the Republic of North Macedonia, public enterprises and other legal entities established by the local self-government units are pointed and the private sector is recommended to exempt the employees in these institutions and companies, who have a child up to the age of 10 / fourth grade, from work and work duties and their absence to be recorded as justified by the employer. This conclusion also refers to single parents. Additionally, the parents of children who do not attend kindergartens or schools, are not exempt from work and work duties.
9. All bodies of the state administration, public enterprises founded by the state, joint stock companies in state ownership, agencies, funds, bureaus and all other national institutions are obligated, while the local self-government units in the Republic of North Macedonia, public enterprises and other legal entities established by the local self-government units are pointed and the private sector is recommended to contact the competent organization units on human resources within their institutions and to assign them to ask the employees within the institutions and companies who use the exemption from work, in pursuance to the conclusions, measures and recommendations of the Government, to submit the HR units within their institutions their personal written statement under moral, substantial and criminal liability that they will be available, at any time to perform official duties and obligations from their home, using E-mail or in the course of the day, in urgent situations, to be physically present on their jobs, in period of two to three hours (form: Statement attached to this Conclusion).
10. The Ministry of Interior is assigned to reinforce the border crossing controls for exit from the Republic of North Macedonia, especially the controls of bus transportation and destination.
11. All educational institutions to introduce rotational duty in order to issue the necessary certificates and other documents.
12. To suspend the work of libraries, student and school homes on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia in the following 14 days while the employees from these institutions to be exempt from work in this period.
13. The employees in the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Army of the Republic of North Macedonia, fire-fighting territorial units, Customs Administration, as well as the homes for elderly and small group homes are exempt from all conclusions, measures and recommendations of the Government.
14. The Ministry of Interior is obligated in the course of the next day to publish notification stipulating that appropriate measures shall be undertaken for all persons who use the social media to share disinformation (false news) on this topic, as well as the media who publish such information.
15. The economic departments of the Government follow closely the economic situation through domestic economic and financial institutions, the World Bank and others and based on the analysis, if necessary, shall start introducing appropriate measures.
16. The Government reiterates the recommendation to the private sector regarding all adopted conclusions, measures and recommendations from the Government on the current situation.
17. The Ministry of Health is assigned, using the Public Health Centres and the local self-government units, to disinfect all kindergartens and schools on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia.
18. The PR Sector of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia is assigned to publish these conclusions, measures and recommendations on the website of the Government and to submit them to all printed and electronic media in order to regularly inform the citizens. Regular information on this topic shall be delivered through the PR Sector of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Measures and conclusions from the 17th session of the Government (12.03.2020)
Measures and conclusions from the 18th session of the Government (13.03.2020)
The excerpt from the Draft-minutes of the 18th session of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, held on 13 March 2020 can be downloaded at the following link.
The decision to introduce a crisis situation in the municipalities of Debar and Centar Zupa in order to prevent the introduction and spread as well as the possibility of contamination with the Coronavirus COVID-19, which was adopted at the 18th Government session on March 13, 2020, can be downloaded at the following link.
The decision for the prohibition and special regime of movement in parts of the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia in the territories of the Debar and Centar Zupa municipalities taken on the 18th session of the Government on 13 March 2020 can be accessed on the following link.
The decision for the supplementation of the Decision on the measures for the prevention of the introduction and the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 for the closing of the Dzepciste-Trebiste border crossing and the Blato border crossing, and for the closing of the Ski Centre “Zare Lazarevski’ in Mavrovo- Mavrovi Anovi, can be found on the following link.
Measures and conclusions from the 19th session of the Government (14.03.2020)
The Government formed the Coordination Crisis Headquarters , which will be led by the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and consist of all the deputies of the President of the Government, the Minister of Health, Minister of Defense, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Transport and Connections, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education and Sciences, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Director of the Centre for Crisis Management, and the Director of the Directorate for Protection and Rescue, with the aim of coordinating the entirety of the process.
1. Close all land border crossings in the Republic of North Macedonia, except for the Tabanovce, Deve Bair, Kafasan, Bogorodica and Blace border crossings which are open for the crossing of passengers and vehicles.
2. Discontinue the operation of the St. Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid, i.e. to close the border crossings at this airport, 48 hours after the adoption of the following order.
3. Prohibit the entry into the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia to foreign nationals from medium-risk countries in accordance with the World Health Organization list published on the Ministry of Health's website, except for those persons whom the Ministry of Interior will authorize after an opinion from the Crisis Coordination Headquarter confirming that there is a particular state or economic interest. These persons should enter our country under special conditions and protection in accordance with the protocol of the Ministry of Health.
4. Close for visitors all shops in shopping malls in the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, except for supermarkets, food stores and pharmacies. All other legal entities can continue to work and enable purchases through alternative ways (via online orders, telephone orders, etc.) and to deliver these orders.
5. Complete prohibition of the work of cafeterias, bars, clubs, casinos and sport betting shops.
6. All catering establishments that prepare and sell food can operate without visiting customers (guests) and make alternate sales (via online orders, telephone orders, etc.) and deliver or enable pick-ups of the orders outside the catering facility (via stand, counter, etc.).
7. In accordance with these measures, the Government adopted a Decision amending the Decision on measures to prevent the introduction and spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.
8. The Ministry of Health is obliged to provide to all our citizens who enter the border crossings into the Republic of North Macedonia and are travelling from high or medium risk countries, prior to entry, to issue a written order for obligatory self-isolation which is to be signed as a written statement under full moral, material and criminal responsibility that he / she will perform a self-isolation in which he / she will state his / her personal details, with details of the address and place of residence during the self-isolation.
9. The Secretariat for European Affairs is required to prepare and urgently submit to the Government a comparative analysis of all measures taken and how they are implemented in high and medium risk countries.
10. The Ministry of Finance - Customs Administration, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water management and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is urged to immediately set up a working group to prepare an information / proposal on the import / export of food products by Monday.
11. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is obliged to inform the public and economic entities that the delivery of food products, medicines and other necessary goods in the areas of Debar and Centar Zupa municipalities, where there is a crisis situation, will be carried out only between 8:00 and 14:00 o'clock.
12. The Department for Public Relations of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia is obliged to immediately publish these conclusions, measures and recommendations on the web site of the Government and to submit them to all written and electronic media, in order to regularly inform the citizens.
In addition, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia has reviewed the Action Plan of the Headquarters for Crisis Management for Prevention and Management of the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 in part of the territory under a crisis situation, the territories of the municipalities of Debar and Centar Zupa, concluding that it should be amended with the following indications:
• Revise the Action Plan in line with newly issued recommendations by the Ministry of Health,
• The work of the production facilities in the territories of the municipalities of Debar and Centar Zupa should be further coordinated with a special regime of operation according to the activity they perform,
• Accept the offer from the telecommunications operators and define the four most important measures / recommendations that should be sent via SMS to the citizens,
• It is recommended that the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of North Macedonia, for the areas of Debar and Centar Zupa, to prioritize cases and procedures related to the situation during this period, in accordance with the mandatory instructions, ,
• It is recommended that the Judicial Council of the Republic of North Macedonia issue an order for the court in the municipality of Debar to operate by the same principles as the mandatory instructions given to the Public Prosecutor's Office,
• The Ministry of Defense is obliged to urgently procure disinfectants for the needs of the Directorate for Protection and Rescue and the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia. Accordingly, the Public Procurement Bureau is required to issue an emergency procurement permit.
Additional measures and conclusions from the 19th session of the Government (14.03.2020)
As an addendum to the decisions and recommendations of the 19th session, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia recommends that the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of North Macedonia issue instructions and recommendations for the urgent and prioritized operation of all public prosecution offices in the country in the procedures processed by the competent institutions regarding the decisions, measures and recommendations made by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia , and other competent state institutions.
The Government recommends that all employers in the Republic of North Macedonia, namely any manager or executive person in the institutions, to organize the work and the modus of work of the employees through working from home, depending on the type of work and possibilities and without disturbing the regular and the normal functioning of the institution.
At this session, the Government adopted a Decision amending the Decision on measures to prevent the introduction and spread of the Coronavirus by closing all land border crossings in the Republic of North Macedonia for the crossing of passengers and vehicles, except the Tabanovce, Deve Bair, Kafasan, Bogorodica, and Blace border crossings. At the border crossings closed for passengers and vehicles, only freight crossings are permitted.
In the following links you can access:
Draft minutes of all conclusions of the 19th session of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia held on 14 March 2020, here.
Decision amending the Decision for measures for the prevention of the introduction and spread of the Coronavirus, here.
Measures and Recommendations of the Ministries
How dangerous is COVID-19?
As with all respiratory diseases the infection with COVID-19 may cause mild symptoms such as: runny nose, throat pains, cough and fever. Some people may experience more severe clinical condition i.e. can face pneumonia or difficulties in breathing.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted from person to person?
Yes, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and may be transmitted from person to person, especially after close contact with infected, for example, at home, at work or in a health institutions.
Who can be infected with COVID-19?
People who live or travel abroad where COVID-19 is circulating can be exposed to risk of infection.
Who is exposed to risk of developing more severe symptoms of COVID-19?
Additional research is required in order to give precise information about how COVID-19 impacts people. In pursuance with the data available, elderly people and people with previously existing conditions (diabetes, heart diseases, etc.) face higher risk of developing more severe symptoms.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that primarily transmits through contact with an infected person i.e. their respiratory droplets when the infected sneezes or coughs, through saliva or nose secretion. It is important for all to maintain good personal hygiene. For example, when sneezing or coughing, use disposable tissues and immediately dispose it; should you not have a tissue, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow. Also, it is very important for people to regularly and thoroughly wash their hands using soap and water or alcohol based disinfectants.
How long does COVID-19 survive on surfaces?
It is still not known how long COVID-19 survives on surfaces, although the initial information suggest that the virus can live for several hours. Simple disinfectants can kill the virus and it will not be possible to infect people.
Can COVID-19 be caught from person who does not show symptoms?
According to currently available data, it is considered that people infected with COVID-19 can be infectious even before developing the symptoms of the disease. However, the virus is mostly spread by people who already show symptoms.