North Macedonia confirmed its first case of coronavirus on the 26th of February, 2020. It was a 50-year-old woman who was coming back from Italy and was sick for two weeks. She immediately reported herself to the clinic and was isolated. For another week there were not any more registered cases. However on the 6th of March, two more cases were confirmed. Up to date North Macedonia has 430 cases, 12 deaths and 20 cured people. In the first half of March the growth of the infected people was not worrying, while in the second half around 25-30 cases were reported daily. On the April, 3rd 46 cases were registered.
The President of the Republic of North Macedonia announced state of emergency in the country. In March he also declared certain measures to combat the consequences suffered by the businesses. Those measures include direct financial support. The Government secured the amount of EUR 5.7 million. Micro, small and medium companies will receive interest-free loans which they can start repaying after six months with a repayment period of two years. The loans depend on the number of employees the companies have.
In addition to that, the Government will subsidize salary contributions to the sectors of transport, tourism and hospitality. The amount of the subsidy will be 50% of the average salary in 2019 and will be received in April, May and June. However, the condition is that companies that have realized profit in 2020 will have to return 50% of the contributions. North Macedonia wants to maintain continuous trade exchange. The government will secure that through the State Sanitary Inspectorate of North Macedonia. The cargo and vehicles will be subject to special protection in accordance with the protocol of the Ministry of Health.
More measures include reorganization of the labor in shifts in bigger plants where usually many employees work, as well as reduction of default and penalty interest.
It is registered that the number of rule-breakers increases. People who breach their self-isolation regimes or go out for no valid reason can be fined up to EUR 3000 and even could be sentenced to one year of jail. Cafes, bars and other hospitality venues must be closed. The owners who keep them open will also be fined. Health authorities have the right to put people into self-isolation if they believe they have been in contact with infected individuals. North Macedonia has engaged their entire legal system into detecting and sanctioning those who break the health instructions and legal procedures in such cases will be speeded up.
1. Magleshov, Vasko. “North Macedonia Registers Increase in Coronavirus Rule-Breakers”, 20th of March, 2020, https://balkaninsight.com/2020/03/20/north-macedonia-registers-increase-in-coronavirus-rule-breakers/
2. Republic of North Macedonia. Worldometer, 4th of April, 2020, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/macedonia/
3. 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic in North Macedonia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_North_Macedonia
4. North Macedonia Introduces Measures to Combat COVID-19 Outbreak, Karanovic Partners, March, 2020, https://www.karanovicpartners.com/news/north-macedonia-introduces-measures-to-combat-covid-19-outbreak/