Current research in Virology & Retrovirology

Coronavirus Impact In North Macedonia

The Ministry of Health of North Macedonia monitors and holds daily press conferences on the COVID-19 outbreak. The detailed and updated number of cases – including statistics on patients in remission, number of new cases, deaths and the total of positive tests for COVID-19 – is published daily on the Ministry’s website. • Assessment of the health system: According to the North Macedonian Ministry of Health, the country has around 1 000 hospital beds at its disposal for hospitalisation of patients with coronavirus dispatched in a dozen State-owned and private hospitals. At the beginning of the outbreak, the country had around 250 respirators. As of 6 April, North Macedonia had 4 500 COVID-19 tests and quickly received 20 000 additional units. • The Government issues regulatory responses to mitigate the effects on the economy, rules applicable to the population and information on a dedicated COVID-19 website. • In view of the improved situation as of mid-May and the relative stabilisation of the curve of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in North Macedonia, the Government considered an exit from the containment measures and a progressive opening of the economy. On 12 May 2020, Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski announced a three step plan towards that end. However, the resurgence of the virus in some cities at the beginning of June prompted the authorities to repeat containment measures. Currently, the government alternates between opening up the economy under the three-stage plan and temporary and localised containment measures ranging from 24 to 80 hours. On 6 April 2020, the Minister of Finance, Nina Angelovska, announced revenue performance in March, as well as perspectives for 2020. North Macedonia is facing a decline of 40% to 65% as compared to 2019. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have slowed economic activity, which in turn has begun to negatively impact the budget. As of 20 March, a sharp decline of tax revenues by around 25% per day was observed. This translated into a decline of total tax revenues by 11% in March as compared to the previous year. This is a result of a 17% drop in VAT revenues, 11% in excise revenues and 11% in profit tax revenues.

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