BELGRADE, April 17. /TASS/. About 600 medical employees in Serbia have contracted the coronavirus, which makes about 12% of all medics in the country, says Predrag Kon, a Serbian epidemiologist and a member of the national coronavirus anti-crisis center.
"In Europe, the rate of infected medics is between 10% and 26%. I am far from boasting with the 12% result, but we are lucky that the virus did not strike us immediately and we had time to provide protection gear," the medic said.
He praised the government for prompt procurement of protective gear, adding that this gear is in high demand for the medical personnel. The epidemiologists underscored the need for a reserve of means of personal protection, adding that the country has proven itself not ready for a global epidemic.
"Still, we have reacted fast, we had protective gear shipped first from China, and then from Russia," the medic concluded.
There are 5,318 people who have contracted the virus in Serbia. The number of fatalities grew to 103.
Due to the pandemic, Serbia shut its borders off entirely, and introduced a state of emergency and a curfew. People above 65 are prohibited from leaving home.
Earlier, Serbia asked Russia for assistance with fighting the epidemic. Russian military planes delivered 87 military medics and other specialists, specialized medical equipment, vehicles and protective gear. The Russian servicemen have commenced their work in the capital city of Belgrade, as well as in a number of other cities and have already decontaminated hundreds of thousands of square meters of main medical centers’ area.