No new measures are planned, the authorities plan to accept the corona as a seasonal disease

Dr. Aleksandar Petlichkovski, Chairman of the Commission for Infectious Diseases / Photo: Free Press

"At this moment, we do not have any significant pressure on the health system. Although the number of cases of covid-19 is growing rapidly, few people reach the hospital and an even smaller percentage of them have a severe course of the disease. Taking into account that the pressure on our health system is not serious, we do not plan to tighten the measures", said tonight the president of the Commission for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Aleksandar Petlichkovski, in the news of TV Sitel.

He said that probably due to a serious share of already acquired immunity with vaccines and previous illness, the clinical picture associated with this new variant of covid-19 is not severe and hence the number of serious cases, the number of deaths is very low.

That gives us the right, he pointed out, to expect that in the coming months we will have to and will be able to live with the corona, to accept it as similar seasonal, endemic diseases and to try to return life to normal.

When asked if the latest drugs against covid-19, which are used worldwide, have been procured and if we have enough professional staff to take care of the sick in a situation where hospitals are full, he said that "it can always be better".

"Currently, we are still in discussions, that is, on plans for the acquisition of new drugs such as "Paxlovid", for example, as the antibodies that are effective against omicron infections, but we do not have them yet. Unfortunately, those tender procedures, purchases, do not go easily and quickly. We have a plan for the amount and type of drugs that have been shown to work very effectively in preventing complications in risk groups. I know that the procedure is ongoing. I don't know exactly when they would arrive, but I expect those medicines to be available within a month," said Dr. Petlichkovski.

Regarding the professional staff, he clarified that not much has changed since the time when the hospitals were intensively filled, but what is different is that now they have gained some experiences, that they have accepted them a little more and follow the treatment guidelines more, and he believes that they will do better they answer.

In connection with yesterday's recommendation of the Commission for Infectious Diseases for the establishment of five covid clinics that should function in Skopje, he clarified that this idea was conceived at the beginning of the pandemic. He emphasizes that the goal is to triage the patients and direct them in a timely manner whether they are for treatment at home, whether they are for treatment in a secondary or tertiary institution.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have had enormous pressure mainly on the Infectious Disease Clinic, the covid centers in such a way that as soon as the patient becomes positive, even if he suspects a positive result, he immediately arrives at the clinic. It is not permissible and cannot survive. The idea of ​​the proposal to establish these clinics is in one place for patients who suspect they may have Covid to come, get a clinical and physical examination and a doctor to assess whether their condition is suitable for home treatment or perhaps they need to be urgently sent to a hospital facility and get the testing at the same time. Now we have a situation where patients call their family doctor, there they schedule a test after four, five days, the result is received after an additional day, two, that's six lost days just in testing. The idea is that the family doctor who will be on duty in these covid clinics will make the assessment as soon as the person feels symptoms and will be tested immediately," said Dr. Petlichkovski.

He pointed out that each family doctor in these five Covid clinics will have one shift in a month and a half.

"At all other times his patients stay with him." During his shift, the replacement is scheduled to work, and from that aspect, nothing should be changed, except that the patients' wandering will be shortened and the diagnosis and eventual isolation of the positive patients will be accelerated. In the near future, I expect to organize a meeting with the three representatives of family doctors. During the next week, I hope that the covid ambulances will start working", added Dr. Petlichkovski.

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