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Serbia to enforce new lockdown as coronavirus cases surge

People waiting for a vaccine in Serbia (Darko Vojinovic/AP), © AP/Press Association Images

Serbia will close down all non-essential shops, bars and restaurants this weekend as the Balkan country faces a surge in coronavirus infections.

The government-appointed crisis body said the measures will take effect on Friday evening and last until Monday.

Authorities will decide on Monday how to proceed, officials said.

The decision is expected to be formally endorsed by the government.

People queue as they wait to enter a health facility in Belgrade (Marko Drobnjakovic/AP)

Serbia has recorded more than 4,000 new infections daily in the past week as doctors have warned that hospitals are rapidly filling up and that medical staff are exhausted after a year of the pandemic.

Senior health official Zoran Gojkovic says the government hopes that its vaccination programme will also get infections under control in the coming weeks.

He says new measures also include children in higher primary school grades switching to remote classes next week.

A wave of new infections is sweeping across the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, driven mainly by new virus variants that are more contagious.

Serbia has vaccinated more than 1.5 million of its seven million people with at least one shot from China’s Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Russia’s Sputnik V or AstraZeneca, which is among the highest rates of inoculations in Europe.

Source:

www.breakingnews.ie

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