North Macedonia ups hospital capacities as new wave of COVID-19 hits

SKOPJE, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Health authorities in North Macedonia are increasing the capacities in all hospitals in major cities as a new wave of COVID-19 hit the country, Minister of Health Venko Filipce said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference, Filipce told reporters that more serious preparations are also being made to prepare for a rise in coronavirus infections, adding that lack of medical staff remains the main problem in some cities.

The minister confirmed that authorities will also increase the number of tests, and if the number of infected people continues to grow, an agreement will be signed with private hospitals for citizens to be tested at a cheaper price.

Regarding the fatalities, Filipce underlined that in 85 percent of cases, patients infected with coronavirus suffered from other serious chronic diseases.

The Health Ministry reported on Sunday 22 COVID-19 related deaths, a record number within 24 hours.

On Monday, the ministry reported 247 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, raising the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Macedonia to 27,199, with 18,948 recoveries and 934 fatalities.

As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine. According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.

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